BAY SPRINGS — On March 4, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of 22 broadband infrastructure projects to give rural residents in 18 states or territories access to improved economic and educational opportunities. Funding for the projects is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In all, more than $254.6 million will be invested in 22 projects. An additional $13.1 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds. Congress provided USDA $2.5 billion in Recovery Act funding to assist applicants to bring broadband services to rural unserved and underserved communities. To date, $895.6 million has been provided to support 55 broadband projects in 29 states or territories.
Here in Mississippi, Bay Springs Telephone Company is receiving a loan of approximately $4.3 million and a grant of roughly $4.14 million. The funding will expand advanced DSL broadband services to unserved and underserved areas within Jasper, Jones, Rankin, Scott and Smith counties in Central Mississippi.