USDA is investing $24 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Iowa. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.
“The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
Who gets the money?
Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company of Moulton, Iowa, will use a $4.9 million ReConnect grant and a $4.9 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network, which will connect 3,085 people, 228 farms, 50 businesses and two healthcare facilities to high-speed broadband internet in Appanoose and Davis counties in Iowa.
Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton, Iowa, will use a $2.3 million ReConnect grant and a $2.3 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network which will connect 954 people, 115 farms and eight businesses to high-speed broadband internet in Taylor and Page counties in Iowa.
Harmony Telephone Company will use a $4.8 million ReConnect grant and a $4.8 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network, which will connect 1,579 people, 96 farms and 31 businesses to high-speed broadband internet in Howard and Chickasaw counties in Iowa.
In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Perdue announced the rules of the program, called “ReConnect,” including how the loans and grants will be awarded to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.
To learn more about ReConnect Program eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.