For Immediate Release
USDA Awards MidSouth Electric Co-op $6.18 Million to Expand Reliability, Jumpstart Rural Broadband
Navasota, TX – February 28, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, today announced a $6.18 million grant to MidSouth Electric Co-op. The grant will be used to deploy fiber across the co-op’s network of utility poles, enhancing electric reliability and opening the door to expanded rural broadband access for MidSouth consumer-members.
The funds are part of the USDA Broadband Reconnect Program, which was created to bridge the digital divide in rural America.
As technology advances, we continue working to make our distribution system smarter and more robust. Being able to add fiber across our utility network will allow us to modernize operations and enhance our awareness about what’s happening across our system. This enhances our response times during outages and improve reliability. In addition, it will open the door to expanded rural broadband access for over 25,000 MidSouth members.
Rep. Kevin Brady, Sen. Ted Cruz, and other Texas lawmakers played a pivotal role in making this grant funding possible.
“Congressman Kevin Brady provided exceptional support and was an integral part of making the grant funds a reality for the members of MidSouth Electric Co-op.” said CEO Kerry Kelton. “We encourage our members to thank Congressman Brady by expressing what high speed internet means to you, your family and business. MidSouth appreciates the consistent support from Congressman Brady and looks forward to continuing to serve our communities together.”
As part of this project, MidSouth will install a fiber-optic cable on the poles that are currently within the co-op’s Rights of Way.
As an added benefit of this fiber installation, MidSouth will be able to begin providing reliable fiber internet service to our communities. The service will be optional and will follow strict build out plans. Anyone interested in true fiber internet service is encouraged to pre-register at midsouthfiber.com to express your interest.
MidSouth Electric Co-op serves over 25,000 consumer-members in and around Grimes, Walker, Waller, Brazos, Madison, Montgomery, and Waller counties. The co-op is focused on providing quality service at a reasonable price, bringing vital services to increase both the quality of life and economic health in the MidSouth service area.