USDA invests $18 million to improve broadband in Illinois

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Doug Wilson announced that the USDA is investing more than $18 million in Illinois as part of the $152 million in 20 projects to provide or improve rural broadband service in 14 states.

“The opportunities high-speed connectivity brings to communities and rural residents literally opens a new world for commerce, education, health care and more,” Wilson says.

Egyptian Telephone Cooperative Association will use $13,827,000 to make system improvements in the rural exchanges of Oakdale, Rice, St. Libory and Venedy. Egyptian Telephone plans to construct 304 miles of modified fiber-to-premises (FTTP) facilities. These improvements will give Egyptian Telephone the capability to enhance services and provide subscribers higher broadband speeds and benefit more than 4,400 rural consumer-members.

Flat Rock Telephone Co-Op, Inc. will use $4,494,000 to convert a legacy copper system to an active ethernet FTTP network. The conversion will include the entire Flat Rock exchange. At its conclusion, the co-op expects to serve 436 voice and 364 internet subscribers.