ROLLA — The federal government is providing more than $60 million in grants and low-interest loans to Missouri as part of a program to increase broadband internet access in rural areas.

KWMU, St. Louis reports that six businesses are receiving the grants to install fiber optic internet lines that will bring high-speed service to areas that have little to no access.

Among the businesses to benefit is the Gascosage Electric Cooperative, which provides electricity to rural areas of Camden, Maries, Miller, Phelps and Pulaski counties in the south-central part of the state. It is receiving $7 million in grants and $7 million in low-interest loans to lay fiber optic cable in three phases.

Other Missouri companies receiving funding for rural broadband access include Mid-States Services of Trenton, Green Hills Telephone in Caldwell and Livingston counties, Total Highspeed in Greene County and Marshall Municipal Utilities in Saline County.

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