U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case today announced Total Highspeed will be receiving a $17,665,000 Rural Broadband Access Loan. Total Highspeed will utilize this funding to install a Fiber to the Home Gigabit network for a 90-square mile area east of Springfield, Mo. The network will pass nearly 4,200 homes and businesses.
“Reliable broadband is critical for rural Americans to be connected to each other and the world,” said Case. “USDA is pleased to partner with Total Highspeed to make high-speed internet access available to Greene County residents and excited for the economic opportunities it will bring to the area.”
This announcement comes as part of a larger, nationwide announcement made by USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy in which he announced that USDA is investing $152 million in 20 projects to provide or improve rural broadband service in 14 states.
“Deploying high-speed broadband internet connectivity, or ‘e-Connectivity,’ in rural America expands access to essential health, educational, social and business opportunities,” LaVoy said. “President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue are committed to fully utilizing all resources Congress provides for building and modernizing this critical infrastructure in rural America, because we believe that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is making the investments through the Community Connect Grant Program, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Investing in telecommunications infrastructure connects people to each other: businesses to customers, farmers to markets, and students to a world of knowledge.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo or by calling (573) 876-0976.
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.