USDA Invests Nearly $5 Million in High-Speed Broadband Access for Rural Missouri

Boonville Daily News

COLUMBIA, MO, August 11, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri Acting State Director D Clark Thomas announced the agency is investing $4,924,245 to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas of Missouri without sufficient access to high speed internet.

“Access to high-speed internet is vital to stay connected with one another and expands opportunities for employment, education, healthcare, running a business, and more,” Thomas said. “USDA Rural Development is committed to investing in broadband infrastructure, as evidenced by today’s investments to Kingdom Telephone Company and Gascosage Electric Cooperative, to improve the quality of life and opportunities for all rural Missourians.”

USDA is investing in two Missouri projects through the ReConnect Program. This program provides loans and grants to construct, improve or acquire facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. To learn more about ReConnect Program eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect. Investments include:

A $4,222,260 grant to Kingdom Telephone Company that will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Audrain and Callaway Counties. The funded service area includes 906 households, 2,369 people, an essential community facility, 39 businesses and 107 farms spread over 81 square miles.

A $701,985 grant to Gascosage Electric Cooperative that will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Pulaski County. The funded service area includes 163 households, 416 people, and a farm spread over a square mile.

Today’s announcement comes as part of a larger, nationwide announcement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack where he announced USDA is investing $167 million in 12 states to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas without sufficient access to high-speed internet.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.

Contact USDA Rural Development

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo, by calling (573) 876-0976, or by emailing RDMissouri@usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a state office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.