The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $17.7 million in grants to two projects that aim to provide high-speed internet service in rural Arkansas communities.
Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. of Dallas is receiving more than $16 million to deploy a fiber network serving 999 people, 100 farms and 33 businesses in Jefferson and Lincoln counties. The project will serve “socially vulnerable” communities in those counties, according to the USDA.
The Scott County Telephone Co. LLC is receiving $1.7 million to deploy a fiber network serving 89 people, 17 farms one business in Scott County.
The funds are a portion of $759 million in grants and loans the USDA is providing to enable rural communities to access high-speed internet, part of the broader $65 billion push for high-speed connectivity from last year’s infrastructure law.
There are 49 recipients in 24 states.
The Associated Press contributed information to this report.