Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Appropriations
Committee, commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement
that Missouri will receive $60.9 million through the ReConnect Pilot Program to
expand rural broadband. The Blunt-backed FY2018
government funding bill included $600 million for the program, which targets
areas that currently lack access to broadband and includes provisions that
prevent overbuilding existing infrastructure.
“This investment will help strengthen economies and improve
the quality of life in rural areas across the state,” said Blunt. “Bringing
high speed internet to rural areas will help students succeed in the classroom,
enhance economic opportunities for farmers and businesses, and improve health
care in underserved communities. The investment announced today marks another
important step toward ending the digital divide that has left about one-third
of rural Missourians without access to broadband. I’ll continue working with
local, state, and federal officials to ensure every community has access to
high speed internet.”
In 2019, a Missouri provider received
$41.6 million through the program. With today’s announcement, Missouri
providers will receive more than $100 million through the program.
Blunt has helped lead efforts to end the digital divide. The
agriculture funding bills provided a total of $1.1 billion for the ReConnect
Pilot Program. Blunt voted in favor of the 2018
, which made essential investments in rural America to expand
access to high-speed broadband and improve infrastructure.
Following are the
details of the awardees, according to USDA:
• Mid-States Services LLC will use a $3 million loan to
provide unserved and underserved members in and around Trenton, Mo., with
Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband services. This investment is expected to
reach 566 households, a highway patrol office and an elementary school.
• Total Highspeed LLC will use a $20.1 million loan and a
$20.1 million grant to build a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to improve
broadband services to families and businesses in rural Greene County. This
investment is expected to reach 8,683 households, 20 pre-subscribed farms, 15
pre-subscribed businesses, eight critical community facilities, 12 educational
facilities and a health care center.
• Gascosage Electric Cooperative, serving Camden, Maries,
Miller, Phelps and Pulaski counties, will use a $7 million loan and a $7
million grant to develop a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network for
its most rural areas. The investment is expected to reach 20 pre-subscribed
farms, 20 pre-subscribed businesses, 1,177 households and two fire protection
• Green Hills Telephone Corporation will use a $2.6 million
grant to expand its Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to rural areas in
Caldwell and Livingston counties. This investment is expected to reach 20
pre-subscribed farms, 20 pre-subscribed businesses, 546 households, a fire protection
district and two educational facilities.
• Marshall Municipal Utilities will use a $575,000 loan and
a $575,000 grant to provide high-quality internet access to rural areas of
Saline County. By expanding its current service area, an additional 21 pre-subscribed
farms, 18 pre-subscribed businesses, 763 households, a private school and a
nursing home will have access to broadband.