$18 Million to Expand Broadband Access in Western Illinois through McDonough Telephone Co-op


The McDonough Telephone Cooperative is receiving an $18 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Illinois. The network will connect 1,583 people, 274 farms and 41 businesses to high-speed internet in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties. The company will make internet access affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs.
Jay Griswold, President and CEO of McDonough Telephone Cooperative says they are proud to receive this award and look forward to expanding reliable fiber broadband to the underserved and unserved rural areas of Western Illinois….
“This ReConnect grant aligns with our commitment to bring fast, reliable and affordable broadband to rural America. We are excited to be able to finally connect locations like the Macomb Airport and many family farms who lack access to high-speed Internet today.”
The investment, awarded to McDonough Telephone Cooperative, will deploy a network that will connect 1,583 people, 274 farms, and 41 businesses to high-speed internet and is funded through the USDA’s ReConnect Program.
The ReConnect Program awards grants to applicants who serve an area that lacks access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). The applicant must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service with speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in its proposed service area.
Congressman Eric Sorensen and United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced the $18 million in funds for high-speed broadband access to rural communities for in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren counties at a press conference held Friday in Galesburg.
“Internet access is essential to making a living, receiving an education, and even accessing health care services for working families in rural communities,” said Sorensen. “This transformative investment in high-speed broadband will help keep our farmers connected, close the digital divide, and expand economic opportunity across Northwestern Illinois.”
“From the farm to the school, from households to international markets, high-speed internet drives positive change for people across rural America,” said Under Secretary Torres Small. “Today’s investment will help Illinois families and businesses in Representative Sorensen’s district access new and critical opportunities. Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to close the digital divide because when rural people thrive, America thrives.”

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