More Cumberland County households can look forward to high speed broadband internet in the future thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture presented on Thursday.

Ben Lomand Connect was awarded $1.9 million for a project that will serve 152 homes in the southwestern portion of Cumberland County. The area is to the south of Pleasant Hill. 

“We are thrilled,” said Lisa Cope, Ben Lomand general manager and chief executive officer. 

The project will include 74 miles of fiber optic internet service infrastructure deployed over a 25-square-mile area. 

More than $17 million in grants were awarded to telecommunications providers in Tennessee Thursday from the Crossville Service Center of Volunteer Energy Cooperative. 

VEC received a $3.7 million grant for a project in Meigs County. 

Highland Communications LLC received a $6.4 million grant for a project to serve more than 2,000 people in Campbell County. 

DeKalb Telephone Cooperative received a $2.2 million grant and the West Tennessee Telephone Company received a $2.7 million grant to serve more than 2,940 people in Carroll County.

The grants are part of ReConnect funds designated to expand broadband internet infrastructure in rural America. USDA received 172 applications totaling $1.57 billion in projects as part of its second round of grants. Congress appropriated $550 million for the program. 

See Tuesday’s Chronicle for more.