February 6, 2023
Recently, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded a total of $261 million to 60 recipients through the ARPA Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program. Missouri’s Broadband investment is aimed at expanding and improving internet access throughout the state and was launched in August 2022 to invest in broadband expansion with a focus on unserved and underserved areas.
This news was reported by DED on January 23, 2023 in Jefferson City, highlighting the fact that many Americans still do not have access to high-speed internet. This lack of quality internet access creates a digital divide, hindering the growth and development of communities, businesses, and individuals. The Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program is a significant step forward in addressing this issue in Missouri.
The program funded a wide range of applicants, including traditional internet providers and electric and telephone cooperatives, to deliver symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps upload/100 Mbps download or greater. The funds will be used to build new connections, bringing quality internet access to more communities and businesses across the state.
Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development, stated, “Broadband expansion is a critical priority, both for economic development and improving the lives of people across our state.” The Office of Broadband Development, under the direction of BJ Tanksley, was instrumental in the success of the grant program.
This program is expected to have a transformational impact on broadband expansion in Missouri and lead the state towards a fully connected future. The state’s investment in broadband expansion demonstrates its commitment to supporting education, health care, businesses, and agriculture in today’s digital economy.
To sum up, the ARPA Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program is a major step forward in expanding internet access in Missouri. This investment in broadband expansion will help bridge the digital divide and provide equal opportunities for all Missourians. The recent DED release in Jefferson City highlights this important initiative and the positive impact it will have on the state.