The USDA announced this week that they are taking applications for grants to finance broadband deployment in remote, rural areas. One company in southeast Missouri has been working on this for some time. Big River Broadband received a 12-million dollar grant and a 12-million dollar loan through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Kevin Cantwell tells KZIM-KSIM that he feels that rural Missouri must not be left behind in the digital age. Cantwell says their project is placing 58 new towers, and serving 7 counties with 4-G L-T-E or 4th generation long term evolution broadband. 34 towers are up, and their build out schedule is to have all the work complete by September 2015. Cantwell knows that “ultra-rural” Missouri is ready, and says he gets those phone calls asking “when is it our turn?” Big River serves Cape Girardeau County, St. Genevieve, Madison, Bollinger, Washington, St. Francis and Perry Counties.
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