USDA Rural Development State Director Douglas Wilson announced that the department is investing $20,860,000 in rural broadband service for 1,497 Illinoisans.

“Access to high-speed broadband internet is the building blocks of prosperity in our rural communities,” Wilson said. ”I’m excited about the opportunities this investment brings to farmers and families here in Illinois. USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in deploying this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA is providing loans to telecommunications providers to build, expand, and improve broadband services in Illinois. The following project is funded through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program.

Montrose Mutual Telephone Company

This Rural Development investment will be used to convert a legacy copper system to a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. Montrose Mutual Telephone Company expects to serve 1,497 customers composed of 246 voice, 590 FTTP internet, and 661 voice/FTTP internet subscribers over a platform that will be capable of delivering downstream/upstream speeds of 1Gb/1Gb.

Since October 2019, USDA has invested $744 million to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity to 172,000 households, 19,000 rural small businesses and farms, and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities in 34 states.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program is one of several USDA rural broadband programs. On April 20, USDA announced the department had received 172 applications for $1.57 billion in round two of the ReConnect Pilot Program. The second round will enable USDA to implement innovative new solutions to rural connectivity by leveraging financial options with our partners and continuing the success of the first round of funding. The application window for series two closed on April 15.

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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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