USDA Invests $7.1 Million in Broadband for Rural Arkansas Communities

YELLVILLE, Ark., Jan. 21, 2020 – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Arkansas State Director David Branscum announced USDA has invested $7.1 million in two, high-speed broadband infrastructure projects that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for 1,250 rural households in north central Arkansas. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.

“Through USDA’s ReConnect Program, more than 1,250 Arkansans living in rural communities will get access to the latest broadband technology that will connect them to opportunities in education, health care and economic development,” Branscum said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has made deploying this critical infrastructure across rural America a top priority because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

The Yelcot Telephone Company will use a $1.7 million ReConnect Program grant and a $1.7 million loan to upgrade facilities from copper cable and drops to a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network that is expected to connect 548 households in Baxter and Marion counties.

The Mountain View Telephone Company will use a $3.7 million ReConnect Program grant to upgrade facilities from copper cable and drops to an FTTH network that is expected to connect 702 households, 15 pre-subscribed farms and a pre-subscribed business in Stone County.

A full description of 2020 ReConnect Pilot Program funding is available on page 67913 of the Dec. 12, 2019, Federal Register, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-12-12/pdf/2019-26522.pdf (PDF, 336 KB). 

To learn more about eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.