The following story was published in The Huntsville Item on February 28, 2020
by Joseph Brown
A proposal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide $19 million for rural broadband could help almost 7,000 rural households, 46 farms, 32 pre-subscribed businesses, 19 critical community facilities and 15 educational facilities in Texas,
A large portion of the grant will be provided to MidSouth Electric Co-Op out of Navasota, which serves nearly 25,000 consumers in and around Walker, Grimes, Walker, Brazos, Madison, Montgomery and Waller counties. The $6 million grant will be used to deploy fiber across the co-op’s network of utility poles, enhancing electric reliability and opening the door to expanded rural broadband access for MidSouth consumer-members.
The funds are part of the USDA Broadband Reconnect Program, which was created to bridge the digital divide in rural America.
“Many of my constituents in the 8th Congressional District of Texas live in rural communities, and are affected by the lack of broadband connection,” Congressman Kevin Brady (R- TX 8th) said. “This new funding will bridge the digital divide and help my constituents by improving access to telehealth services and promoting economic development. I was proud to advocate on behalf of MidSouth’s grant application and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this program will have on the rural communities in Texas.”
As part of this project, MidSouth will install a fiber-optic cable on the poles that are currently within the co-op’s rights-of-way.
As an added benefit of this fiber installation, MidSouth will be able to begin providing reliable fiber internet service to our communities. The service will be optional and will follow strict build out plans. Anyone interested in true fiber internet service is encouraged to pre-register at midsouthfiber.com to express your interest.
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