The USDA ReConnect Program announced awards in Michigan totaling $22.5 million.

Barry County Services is getting an investment of $11.8 million to provide fiber-based broadband services in Barry County, which is a rural area. The project will cover a 127-square mile footprint covering 17 farms, 16 businesses and 12,000 residents.

The other award is to Southwest Michigan Communications. The firm will receive $10.7 million to deploy an FTTP service to Van Buren and Allegan counties. The project will serve a 100 square-mile area that includes 22 farms, 19 businesses and 7,700 residents.

Both awards came in the form of combination loan/grants.

With the two Michigan USDA ReConnect awards, the USDA now has invested $743,779,420 in 81 awards in 34 states and territories. The USDA announced this week that it is granting $3.3 million to SDN Communications for a fixed broadband network to serve Pennington and Lawrence counties in South Dakota.

The CARES Act, which was signed into law during March, injected $100 million into the ReConnect program to fund grant requests that previously were rejected. In addition, the second phase of the ReConnect program has gotten underway. The deadline for applications was April 15. Five days later, the USDA announced that it had received 172 applications for $1.57 billion.

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