ST. LOUIS– Missouri will spend more than $400 million to improve broadband infrastructure in the state. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The funding will be used to increase broadband internet access, adoption, and assistance statewide. The plan will be presented to the Missouri General Assembly in January for approval.
“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 press release.
Gov. Parson says he expects this investment to increase connectivity and access in every corner of the state for hundreds of thousands of Missourians. He also says quality internet supports learning, health care, business, and agriculture.
The state says the plan was developed through a multi-agency effort designed to address a diverse range of broadband connectivity challenges.
The state has also submitted an application with a federal broadband program requesting an additional $56 million for broadband deployment. If approved, the funding could support up to 19 projects, connecting more than 17,000 households, businesses, and more.
According to the FCC, more than 147,000 households or almost 400,000 Missourians don’t have access to high-speed internet. The majority of those citizens reside in rural communities.
“In combination, these investments would be a game-changer for broadband in Missouri,” said Tim Arbeiter, Director of Broadband Development for the Department of Economic Development in a statement. “This unprecedented level of funding could unlock incredible new potential as we shape the strategy for broadband development in our state.”