USDA Invests $19 Million in Broadband for Rural Texas Communities

The following press release was issued by the USDA on February 28, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue discussed the issue of rural broadband with Connected Nation Texas State Program Director Jennifer Harris

ELMENDORF, Texas, Feb. 28, 2020 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $19 million investment in three, high-speed broadband infrastructure projects that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for almost 7,000 rural households, 46 farms, 32 pre-subscribed businesses, 19 critical community facilities and 15 educational facilities in rural Texas. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 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.”

Senator John Cornyn added, “Without access to broadband, simple tasks like checking the weather forecast or paying a bill become difficult, and more involved tasks like applying for government benefits or an out-of-town job became near inaccessible. I was proud to support this funding in the Senate, and I thank the Trump Administration for prioritizing infrastructure in rural Texas communities.”

Border to Border Communications will use a $5 million ReConnect grant and a $5 million ReConnect loan to deploy a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in rural Texas. The funded service area includes 5,153 households, 20 farms, 15 pre-subscribed businesses, 15 educational facilities, and 10 critical community facilities spread over 938 square miles in Webb and Zapata counties.

Mid-South Synergy will use a $6 million ReConnect grant to deploy a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network in rural Texas. This network will be capable of symmetrical transmission speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps). The service area includes 786 households, 26 farms, 17 pre-subscribed businesses and seven critical community facilities spread over 385 square miles in Brazos, Grimes, Madison and Walker counties.

Peoples Telephone Cooperative Inc. will use a $3 million ReConnect grant to deploy a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network in rural areas of Texas. The funded service area includes 914 households and two critical community facilities spread over 28 square miles in Titus, Camp and Wood counties.

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