The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program has awarded a grant of $4.6 million to The Bay Springs Telephone Company, an affiliate of TEC, for deployment of a FTTP network in rural Mississippi.
The network will serve 5,139 people, 69 businesses, 77 farms, three fire stations, two post offices, two health care facilities and five educational facilities in Jasper, Jones, Newton, Lauderdale and Smith counties.
The ReConnect program previously made an investment in Mississippi. In July, a $16 million grant was made to the Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association The funding is aimed at creating a FTTP network connecting 2,082 people, 331 farms, 32 businesses, a post office and six fire stations in rural Mississippi.
In all, the second round of the ReConnect program generated 172 applications totaling $1.57 billion, which are competing for $550 million in available funding. The first round resulted in an announced investment of $698 million to provide services to about 167,000 households, 17,000 rural small businesses and farms and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities in 33 states.
The ReConnect program also is infusing money in broadband through $100 million included in the CARES Act, which was passed in March to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.