Many homes, businesses, farms and school districts in Cape Girardeau County will profit from a grant that is worth a total of $2.9 million for broadband internet expansion that was proclaimed by officials with the federal government on Wednesday. Big River Communications of Cape Girardeau received this grant as part of a broadband expansion project that is through the US Department of Agriculture. The project is worth a total of $100 million. This project was made available to the departments Reconnect Program from the government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Officials say the need for rural broadband has never been more important than now as the country is dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic. Officials also say Expanding broadband access to this critical infrastructure will help make sure the rural part of America prospers for a long time. This project will imply the installation of about 53 miles of high-speed fiber optic cables and around seventy-five percent of them will be below the ground both in and around the city limits of Jackson and the northern sections of Cape Girardeau. Officials say this project will be beneficial to around 4,839 residents within Cape Girardeau County by using fiber-to-the-premises” service that is based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau . A good portion of the preliminary engineering work for the expansion project has already happened along with the coordination with local officials and school district administrators in both cities.