The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $16.9 million for a project to bring high-speed internet to Phillips County.
The money, awarded through the department's ReConnect Program, will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will benefit 1,266 people, 42 businesses, 125 farms and six educational facilities, the USDA said in a news release Monday.
Uplink LLC of Clarksdale, Mississippi, will build the network. The company is participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program, which aims to provide broadband to socially vulnerable and underserved communities.
The money is a portion of $667 million in grants and loans announced Monday for 38 high-speed internet projects in rural areas of 22 states and the Marshall Islands.
“Keeping the people of rural America connected with reliable, high-speed internet brings new and innovative ideas to the rest of our country and creates good-paying jobs along the way,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
In October, the USDA provided $18 million in grants for broadband projects in Jefferson, Lincoln and Scott counties. In July 2022, the department awarded $12 million for projects in Searcy and Van Buren counties.