Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested $9 million in four, high-speed broadband infrastructure projects that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for 3,744 rural households, 31 businesses, 41 farms and a critical community facility in Tennessee. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA's ReConnect Pilot Program investments.
"Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America," Perdue said. "We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is proud to partner with rural communities to deploy this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives."
Ben Lomand Holdings Inc. will use a $2.2 million ReConnect Program grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to rural northeastern Cumberland County. The funded service areas include 222 households, six pre-subscribed businesses and three pre-subscribed farms spread over 100 square miles.
North Central Communications Inc. will use a $1.4 million ReConnect Program grant to provide broadband service to residents and businesses in rural Smith County. The funded service areas include 164 households, 10 pre-subscribed businesses and 21 pre-subscribed farms spread over 22 square miles.
Peoples Telephone Company, dba TEC, will use a $1 million ReConnect Program loan and a $1 million ReConnect Program grant to provide broadband service to residents and businesses in rural Houston, Henry, Stewart and Montgomery counties. The funded service areas include 642 households, two pre-subscribed businesses and five pre-subscribed farms spread over 38 square miles.
United Communications Inc. will use a $3.3 million ReConnect Program grant to provide broadband service to residents and businesses in rural Wilson, Rutherford, Williamson and Maury counties. The funded service areas include 2,716 households, 13 pre-subscribed businesses, 12 pre-subscribed farms and a critical community facility spread over 48 square miles.