U.S. Department of Agriculture Helps Expand Broadband Service in Rural Illinois and Oklahoma

February 28, 2017

Washington, DC - - (February 27, 2017) - - Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA is awarding $19.3 million in loans to provide broadband in rural portions of Illinois and Oklahoma.

"These loans will help bring high-speed internet service to rural communities in downstate Illinois and south-central Oklahoma," Glendenning said. "Many rural areas still lack access to the type of reliable, affordable broadband service that can offer better access to jobs, educational, health care and business services."

In Oklahoma, Southern Plains Cable, LLC will receive a $15.3 million loan to build a fiber-optic broadband network serving a 55-square-mile area that includes the communities of Anadarko, Verden, and Chickasha. Illinois' Moultrie Independent Telephone Company will receive a $4 million loan to make upgrades to fiber service in a portion of its service territory.

Both loans are being provided through USDA's Telecommunications Programs of the Rural Utilities Service. Telecommunications Programs funds equipment and infrastructure to deliver broadband and distance learning and telemedicine services to rural areas.

USDA's Rural Utilities Service also offers infrastructure programs that bring electric service, safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment facilities to rural communities.

USDA Rural Development provides economic opportunities to citizens and businesses in rural areas. Programs help improve infrastructure; start or expand businesses; help residents buy homes; fund community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and bring high-speed Internet access to rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Information source: U.S. Department of Agriculture