Durbin, Duckworth Announce $4 Million Loan To Expand Broadband Service In Moultrie County

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced a $4,000,000 federal loan for the Moultrie Independent Telephone Company (MITCO) to expand broadband service in the Moultrie County area.  MITCO will use the funds to make upgrades to fiber service in a portion of its service territory.  Today’s funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Telecommunications Programs of the Rural Utilities Service.
“Without reliable access to broadband internet, rural communities can’t fully access the tools and resources they need to succeed; communities are less able to attract businesses or high-quality employees considering relocating; and businesses are unable to take advantage of the online market,” said Durbin.  “This funding will make a significant investment in the effort to close the digital divide by increasing broadband availability in Illinois while helping create the jobs that will drive our economy for years to come.”
"High-quality, affordable broadband service is an essential tool for Illinois families in the 21st Century economy,” said Duckworth.  “I’m pleased to announce this funding with Senator Durbin today to help empower residents and small businesses in rural communities with high-speed internet and I will continue my work to ensure rural communities have access to the resources they need to support hardworking families.”
Today’s announcement was a part of $19.3 million in loans to provide broadband to rural portions of Illinois and Oklahoma.  The USDA’s Telecommunications Programs funds equipment and infrastructure to deliver broadband, distance learning, and telemedicine services to rural areas.  The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service offers infrastructure programs that bring electric service, safe drinking water, and improved wastewater treatment facilities to rural communities.