Western Monroe County to see internet upgrades

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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MONROE COUNTY, Mo. (WGEM) - Some people in Monroe County, Missouri may soon have better access to high speed internet.

Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation received a $2.2 million grant from the USDA’s Rural Development Office to expand high speed internet fiber.

The grant was part of a larger $14 million dollar deal which also saw funding go towards Net Vision Communications LLC in Barton County, Missouri.

Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation Chief Financial Officer Tina Jordan said their grant funding would go toward expanding internet access around the rural areas surrounding Jacksonville, Missouri in Randolph County.

Jordan said the company had decided a few years ago to expand access region wide, and the rural areas in Monroe and Randolph Counties near Jacksonville were one of the last exchanges left to be upgraded.

She said the importance of rural areas having access to high speed internet was emphasized following the pandemic with more people choosing to work and learn from home.

“It’s just essential, to have high speed internet. When you think about e-learning, and people trying to work from home, telemedicine, and even in the agricultural industry, it has become so high tech that they use precision farming,” said Jordan.

She said it would have been much harder for the company to invest in these upgrades without the help of the USDA funding.

“It’s game changing for us... when you talk about fiber costing $30,000 a mile, and you may only cross one location or two locations, you’re looking at not getting that paid for in over a 60 year timeframe if you have that one person paying $40 a month for internet,” said Jordan.

While the grant funding has been awarded, Jordan said they are still in the process of filing paperwork with the state of Missouri for the project.

Once construction and line work begins, she said they hope to have the work finished within 12 months.

Money is coming in part from the USDA’s ReConnect Program. You can find out more about the program here.

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