Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a $19 million grant as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ReConnect Program. This funding, provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will enable Meeker Cooperative to deploy a fiber-to-the-premise network, connecting hundreds of people, several businesses and farms, and an educational facility in Kandiyohi, Meeker, and Stearns counties in Minnesota.

The ReConnect Program, a key initiative under President Biden's Investing in America agenda, aims to bridge the digital divide by providing reliable and affordable high-speed internet to rural communities across the United States. Meeker Cooperative's successful application is a testament to its commitment to improving connectivity for underserved areas.

Luke Johnson, Meeker Cooperative’s CEO and General Manager, expressed his gratitude, stating, “Receiving just over 19 million dollars in grant funds, covering 100% of the project costs is beyond amazing for Meeker Cooperative members and the surrounding area. Without this level of grant funding, deployment of fiber in these areas to offer quality broadband service to roughly 700 homes and construct just over 200 miles of fiber would not be feasible in the foreseeable future. The project area runs from north of Litchfield heading west and northwest into Kandiyohi County. Construction will begin in 2024, allowing time for our team to plan, design, and procure the needed material.”  

With access to high-speed internet, residents, businesses, and educational institutions in the region will have enhanced opportunities for communication, education, healthcare, and economic growth. Meeker Cooperative is committed to making this service affordable for all by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP provides discounts for qualifying low-income households.

Meeker Cooperative applauds the USDA's commitment to connecting rural America and expresses gratitude to Secretary Tom Vilsack and the Biden-Harris Administration for their continued support in expanding access to high-speed internet. By leveraging this grant, Meeker Cooperative looks forward to fulfilling its mission of empowering rural communities with reliable, affordable, and fast internet connectivity.

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