After a highly competitive process, Rock Port Telephone Company (RPTC) has been awarded $15,783,423 in funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the third round of funding for the ReConnect Grant Program. Rock Port Telephone will match this with $5,261,141 of their own money for a project total of $21,044,564.

This grant will bring Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) over a 385 square mile area throughout Atchison and Holt counties. The project will build approximately 798 miles of mainline fiber which will make symmetrical gigabit speeds available to an estimated 1,121 rural community members.

Michael Goins, RPTC General Manager, said, “Our customers are our top priority; therefore, we are driven to find ways to make network enhancements happen in financially responsible ways. Being awarded this ReConnect grant is an enormous opportunity for our communities and eliminates many challenges faced by members of the community. Fiber to the Home means our customers don’t have to compromise on speed or quality or be concerned with things that impact service such as weather, trees or terrain as they do with other technologies. This grant allows Rock Port Telephone to bridge the digital divide in our rural communities so Northwest Missourians have the ability to connect and thrive.”

RPTC will have five years to complete this project once the final documentation is completed and funds are made available. At this time, engineering is in the final stage.

The fiber network levels the playing field for rural communities to compete with larger, urban areas for business growth, expansion and economic development. The fiber network ensures that our rural area not only has ample bandwidth for today, but also powers the community’s growth and development for decades to come.

RPTC’s subsidiary, Midwest Data Center (MDC), has significant experience building FTTH. MDC received funding from the Missouri Department of Economic Development CARES Act Program Investment Grant which was used to build FTTH in Big Lake. MDC was also awarded funding through RDOF for FTTH operations. MDC completed the FTTH build in Mound City and is anticipating a 2023 FTTH completion in Tarkio and Rock Port.

“None of this would be possible without the commitment and dedication Rock Port Telephone employees have to serving our customers. They always go the extra mile and are focused on providing exceptional service,” said Stanley Griffin, RPTC Board President.

Rock Port Telephone Co. was organized in 1902 and has been providing communications services since its inception. RPTC provides advanced communications service to over 2,500 customers in a service area primarily in northwest Missouri. Services provided include voice, video, and broadband to residential, commercial, non-for-profit, educational, healthcare, public safety and wholesale customers. RPTC has deployed wireless, DSL, and Fiber to the Premises broadband technologies.

RPTC’s wholly owned subsidiary, Midwest Data Center, Inc. is a managed IT and cybersecurity company providing broadband, video, data management and transport services in northwest Missouri as well as customers across the United States.