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Rural broadband funding aiding Missourians

The head of USDA Rural Development in Missouri says they continue to make increasing access to high-speed internet a priority for rural residents.

State Director Kyle Wilkens says they are encouraging entities to apply for funds through the ReConnect Program, which was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “About 72 percent of rural residents have moderate or high-speed broadband,” he said. “The goal is to increase this number so that all people, regardless of where they live, have access.”

He tells Brownfield the USDA will soon initiate a fourth round of funding. “It’s going to be able to expand on projects that are working with round one and/or round two funding,” Wilkens said.

The department will begin accepting applications on September 6th for up to $150 million in loans, up to $300 million in loan/grant combinations, and up to $700 million in grants. The application deadline is November 2nd.

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