USDA invests $55.3 million in broadband for rural Kentucky and Tennessee communities

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COLUMBIA, Ky. - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced USDA has invested $55.3 million in four, high-speed broadband infrastructure projects in rural Kentucky. These projects, part of the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments, will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for more than 12,250 rural households and nearly 100 farms and businesses across Kentucky and northern Tennessee.

“High-speed broadband internet connectivity, or e-Connectivity, is essential today to run a successful business or agricultural operation, access specialized health care or education, and connect with loved ones living far away,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has made the deployment of this critical infrastructure in rural America a top priority, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

LaVoy announced the following investments in rural Kentucky:

• Ballard Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation will use a $2.4 million ReConnect Program grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in rural McCracken County. The funded service areas include 578 households and a critical community facility spread over 20 square miles.
• Duo County Telephone Cooperative Corporation Inc. will use an $18.7 million ReConnect Program grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural Adair, Cumberland, and Russell counties. The funded service areas include almost 3,650 households spread over 45 square miles.
• Gibson Electric Membership Corporation will use a $32 million ReConnect Program loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural Fulton, Graves and Hickman counties in Kentucky, and in Dyer, Lake, Obion, and Weakley counties in Tennessee. The funded service areas include almost 7,400 households spread over 1,056 square miles.
• Thacker-Grigsby Telephone Company Inc. will use a $2.3 million ReConnect Program grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural Breathitt County. The funded service area includes 637 households spread over 109 square miles.