Editor's note: A previous version of this article described the money as a grant. It is part of the loan program.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — A southern Indiana county should soon have much faster internet service after the USDA announced a $14 million federal loan to a local cooperative.
As part of the Telecommunications Loans program, Washington County will serve more than 1,700 internet customers across the area.
The expansion is made possible by a loan of $14,359,000 to the Washington County Rural Telephone Cooperative from the USDA.
The money will be used to convert a legacy-copper system to an Active Ethernet Fiber-to-the-Premises network, the USDA said Monday.
Once the project is finished, the county will serve 502 digital voice, 1,705 Internet and 491 digital voice/Internet subscribers.
Washington County falls under Rep. Trey Hollingsworth's district.
“Communities across Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District have been fighting hard for stronger rural broadband and increased connectivity because of how vital this is for education, healthcare, farming, and business success,” Hollingsworth said. “I look forward to the boost this USDA loan will give our ongoing efforts to connect all Hoosiers to high-speed internet.”
The USDA did not specify the speeds of the internet service.