Missouri Governor supports 11 proposals for broadband expansion

By Christy Hendricks - bio | email

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) – Gov. Jay Nixon is supporting two southeast Missouri proposals that would expand broadband internet access in rural and underserved parts of Missouri.

It's part of 11 total proposals the governor is supporting across the state to increase internet access for serve health care, business, education and consumers.

The proposals from private companies, local governments and rural electric cooperatives have been submitted for federal funding through the Recovery Act.

MoBroadbandNow is a five-year initiative launched by Gov. Nixon last summer that seeks to expand broadband access to 95 percent of Missouri's total population.  Less than 80 percent of Missouri residents have access to broadband, according to the governor's office.

Boycom Cablevision, of Poplar Bluff, plans to build a middle-mile network along the U.S. Highway 60 corridor in southern Missouri and into the Bootheel.

Big River Telephone Company, of Cape Girardeau, would provide broadband to households and businesses in southeast Missouri.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Recovery Act.  The proposals would be considered for the second round of grants.

View the full list of proposal below supported by the governor.

  • BlueBird Media, of Columbia, which plans to build a middle-mile network in northern Missouri;
  • Boycom Cablevision, of Poplar Bluff, which plans to build a middle-mile network along the U.S. Highway 60 corridor in southern Missouri and into the Bootheel;
  • Sho-Me Technologies, of Marshfield, which plans to build a middle-mile network in central and south central Missouri;
  • SpringNet, a division of City Utilities of Springfield, which would provide broadband to customers in the metropolitan Springfield area; and
  • American Fiber Systems, of Rochester, N.Y., which plans to provide connections to several Metropolitan Community College facilities in Jackson County.

The last-mile proposals that received letters of support from the Governor included:

  • Big River Telephone Company, of Cape Girardeau, which would provide broadband to households and businesses in southeast Missouri;
  • Cass County, which would provide broadband to households and businesses in western Missouri;
  • Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, of Tipton, which would provide broadband to households and businesses in west-central Missouri;
  • Socket, of Columbia, which would provide broadband to households in central Missouri; and
  • United Electric Cooperative, of Savannah, which would provide broadband to households and businesses in northwest Missouri.

A public computing center proposal submitted by YourTel America would create eight public computing centers at retail centers across Missouri to bring broadband access to vulnerable populations of Missourians.

In addition to that, a proposal filed by the Missouri Department of Higher Education would help create 23 public computing centers with 736 workstations at seven community colleges.  Those colleges include Jefferson College, Metropolitan Community College, Mineral Area Community College, Moberly Area Community College, Ozarks Technical College, St. Louis Community College and Three Rivers Community College.

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