Legacy ISP breaks ground on $4.8 Million Fiber Optic Infrastructure Investment

group of people wearing hardhats and holding shovels
Courtesy Photo

Italy, Texas,  – On March 7, the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) Rural Development Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Andy
Berke, alongside State Director Salerno, visited the city of Italy, Texas, to celebrate the
groundbreaking on a $4.8 million investment for Legacy ISP. The internet service
provider to deliver high-speed internet service for rural Texans, connecting 24,306
people, 1,064 businesses, 73 educational facilities, and 40 farms to high-speed internet in
Ellis and Hill counties.

Legacy was started by Thurston Taylor, and Cody Williams, who combined have 30 plus
years of experience in the internet service provider industry to provide high-speed
internet at affordable prices. Legacy partners began the ceremony by thanking USDA for
being present and allowing the company to develop more internet infrastructure for
their growing number of rural users.

“We are really glad to be here, responded Burke. Thank you to Legacy for being our
partner in this, thank you to Mayor Cockran, and thank you to the city’s leadership.
President Biden’s goal is to make sure every American has access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet; this is something he really cares about.

Since its inception, Legacy has been dedicated to offering a fast and reliable broadband
solution to its local communities where internet service has long been poor to nonexistent. This project begins the construction of a 100 percent fiber-to-the-premises
network to deliver much-needed broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps.

“Texas has almost 5 million rural residents who all deserve high-quality internet, said
Salerno. We have towns in Texas that have no internet, and the towns suffer- the kids in
these communities fall behind because of lack of internet connection. Legacy ISP will
deploy the technology with the high-speed internet access communities need to thrive in
an increasingly digital world.”

The groundbreaking is a part of 197 ReConnect project investments by the Biden
Harris administration. The investments will bring high-speed internet access to
approximately 500,000 people in rural America. Under the current administration, this is
USDA’s largest effort aimed at filling gaps in high-speed internet in unserved and
underserved rural areas to date.

ReConnect Loan and Grant Program

In the third round of the ReConnect Program, USDA invested $1.66 billion to create or
improve high-speed internet access for rural customers across 31 states and territories. To
date, USDA has announced $1.76 billion for projects in the fourth round of funding.
To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must serve an area that lacks
access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps
(upload). The applicant must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high
speed internet service with speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location
in its proposed service area.

Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities,
create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This
assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing;
community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed
internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit

Contact USDA Rural Development

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development in Texas is
available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/tx, by calling (254) 742-9700, or by following
@RD_Texas on X (formerly Twitter).

If you’d like to subscribe to Texas USDA Rural Development updates, visit our
GovDelivery subscriber page.