CONNECT THE FUTURE
OUR AGENDA: EXPANDING BROADBAND TO
MORE MISSOURIANS, MORE QUICKLY
Access to reliable, high-speed internet service is more important than ever. Yet, Missouri currently ranks 34th in the country for broadband access with 422,000 Missourians still remaining without access to a wireline broadband connection. However, experts at BroadbandNow estimate this figure to be closer to one million Missourians. We can do better.
Even with more than 250 internet providers offering broadband service in the state, Missouri’s digital divide is real, and the socio-economic consequences for the 23% of Missouri’s population, mostly in rural areas, without broadband access is significant.
Our mission is plain and simple: Create an environment that encourages fast investment in expanding broadband deployment throughout unserved areas of Missouri to achieve 100% availability as quickly as possible.
TARGETED BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING NEEDED TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL BROADBAND ACCESS IN MISSOURI
The benefits of high-speed internet are undeniable. COVID-19 further highlighted the importance of access to high-speed internet for all Americans, critical for distance learning, telehealth, and working from home. In fact, recent estimates suggest that further expanding broadband access to include all of Missouri’s unserved homes and small businesses would create anywhere from $3.16 billion up to $8.05 billion in new economic gains in our state.
Yet, numerous barriers exist today that slow or prevent broadband deployment, especially in rural areas. We’re calling on lawmakers to take immediate action during the 2022 state legislative session to expedite deployment, advance innovation, and attract greater infrastructure investment needed to fully close the digital divide.
Governor Mike Parson took a great step toward closing the rural digital divide when he announced plans to deploy more than $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase broadband internet access, adoption, and assistance. The plan will be presented to the Missouri General Assembly for appropriation and aims to address a diverse range of broadband connectivity challenges faced by Missourians. These funds should be appropriated and deployed in a timely and efficient manner to advance key reforms aimed at accelerating access to and upgrading utility pole infrastructure throughout Missouri’s unserved communities, regardless of whether poles are owned by investor-owned utilities, municipal electric companies, or rural electric cooperatives. The Governor and General Assembly must continue to fight for high-speed internet access for all Missourians.
MISSOURI INTERNET ACCESS MATTERS
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING IN MISSOURI
Voices across Missouri recognize the positive impact of investing and expanding broadband deployment across our state to help families, students, businesses, farms, and more get connected.
Economic Benefits of Expanding Broadband in Select Missouri Counties
JOIN CONNECT THE FUTURE MISSOURI
Do you want to connect more Missourians to the future? Do you want to strengthen our economy, expand opportunity, and usher in a better future for our state and our country?
If so, we want you to stand with us!