Opinion: Lack of broadband connectivity is holding local communities back

By Becky Wiginton on April 12, 2022

Bollinger County is a small but vibrant community of hardworking families, business owners, farmers, and students. It’s a nearly ideal place to work, live, and raise a family, and over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in businesses, homeowners, and others looking to join our community. But whether it’s lifelong residents or newcomers, we continue to hear that Bollinger County is missing one critical resource: adequate broadband internet access.

While many Missouri communities are making progress in closing the digital divide, others remain far behind. Our county has the lowest broadband coverage of any of the state’s 114 counties. To identify solutions to this problem, we formed the Bollinger County Broadband Task Force. This work started prior to the pandemic, but COVID-19 made it more urgent than ever. For too many people, online education, telehealth, and working from home were simply not possible. Now, even as normal life is getting back into full swing, a reliable high-speed internet connection is critical.

To read the full op-ed in The Missouri Times, click here.