The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded $2 million in pandemic relief funds to Little River County to build fiber optic cable lines to support broadband infrastructure.
The money, which the department's Economic Development Administration provided through the CARES Act, will be matched with $500,000 in local funds, the department said in a news release.
“In our ever-increasing digital world, the need for broadband connectivity has never been greater,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in the release. “I’m appreciative of the investment by the Economic Development Administration and local dollars to increase access to high-speed internet and provide opportunities for economic growth.”
About 12,200 people live in Little River County.
Hutchinson last week called for spending another $250 million in federal aid to expand rural internet access. He said it will support new jobs and economic growth in rural areas.
The Republican governor said that figure is a short-term goal and more funding will be needed later.