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Illinois Ag News Headlines
Illinois Telephone Co-op Loans, Grants to Upgrade Broadband
Illinois Ag Connection - 10/14/2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Wednesday it is investing $46.4 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Illinois. 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," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, said. "I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come."

Hamilton County Telephone Co-op will use a $20 million ReConnect grant and a $20 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 19,749 people, 462 businesses, 347 farms, 16 educational facilities, three post offices and four fire stations to high-speed broadband internet in Saline, Williamson, Franklin and White counties in Illinois.

Flat Rock Telephone Co-op, Inc. will use a $3.2 million ReConnect grant and a $3.2 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 1,460 people, 50 farms, 13 businesses and a fire station to high-speed broadband internet in Crawford and Lawrence counties in Illinois.


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