FARMINGTON, MO (KFVS) - Some customers in southeast Missouri are getting closer to rural broadband.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was in Farmington to help Big River Telephone dedicate the headquarters that will house the operation.
Big River is one of the partners in the Governor's MOBroadbandNow initiative.
Big River was awarded $24.4 million in grants and loans in competitive federal funding. The Big River broadband project will bring high speed internet access to nearly 45,000 households and more than 7,500 businesses in Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve and Washington counties.
Big River renovated an old fire station in Farmington to house the new broadband offices.
By invitation, customers and business owners were able to experience some of the technology that will be available to a seven county area.
Nixon says the technology is key to developing Missouri business.
"Big River's broadband network will open the doors of opportunity to many more folks in this area. To businesses to student and teachers and first responders and families at home," Gov. Nixon said. "These are exciting days for broadband in the Show-Me State."
Once the project is finished, 90 percent of the homes in the seven-county area will have high-speed access, compared to less than 30 percent when the project was launched. The project is projected to create more than 1,000 jobs during construction, and more than 70 permanent jobs when completed.