$400M plan to improve broadband in MO

Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced plans to use more than $400 million in to increase broadband internet access, adoption and assistance.

SEDALIA, Mo. (KBSI) – Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced plans to use more than $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase broadband internet access, adoption and assistance.

Gov. Mike Parson announced plans during a press conference at the Missouri State Fair hosted by the Missouri Farm Bureau on Thursday to deploy more than $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase broadband internet access, adoption, and assistance statewide.

“Investing in our broadband infrastructure is critical to unlocking our full economic potential in this state and will serve Missourians for generations to come,” Governor Parson said in a news release. “We expect this investment to increase broadband internet connectivity and access in every corner of the state for hundreds of thousands of Missourians. Quality internet supports learning, health care, business, and agriculture in today’s economy, and we are excited to capitalize on this opportunity to truly make a difference and improve lives.”

The plan is expected to impact hundreds of thousands of Missouri families. It will be presented to the Missouri General Assembly in January for appropriation.

In addition to the $400 million plan, the Department of Economic Development also submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Infrastructure Program requesting an additional $56 million for broadband deployment. If approved by NTIA, this funding could support up to 19 projects, connecting more than 17,000 households, businesses, and other institutions.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 147,000 households or almost 400,000 Missourians don’t have access to high-speed Internet (25mpbs/3mbps). The majority of those citizens live in rural communities.

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