USDA has announced that Wabash Telephone Cooperative was selected to receive a $21,867,000 low interest loan to expand broadband in its service area.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that the cooperative was one of five broadband infrastructure projects nationwide selected for funding this week.

The program is designed to provide loans to finish and improve telecommunications service in rural areas.

“Broadband, much like education, is the great equalizer,” said Colleen Callahan, state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois. “Until we can bring high-speed Internet to our rural communities, we will not have access to the tools we need to develop new business, educational, public health and safety opportunities, and ultimately generate more jobs in rural areas