State Hopes to Connect Rural Missouri With Broadband

7 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, October 26 2010 Oct 26, 2010 Tuesday, October 26, 2010 5:52:07 PM CDT October 26, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It's hard to imagine a life without the internet at your fingertips. But, for many Missourians this is the case. State leaders held a broadband summit Tuesday to explain how it's working to expand broadband into rural parts of Missouri.

About 260 people attended the broadband summit today at the Truman Hotel in Jefferson City.

The banquet hall was filled with local and state government; health, education and public safety agencies; broadband providers; and state officials. Many of these people were using the internet on their iPads and smart phones.

The purpose of the two day summit is to plan the next steps in the expansion. So far the state has about $200,000,000 in stimulus money for the project.

The Governor's initiative is called MoBroadbandNow. The governor, along with many others at the summit, said that the internet is not a luxury anymore, but it is in fact a necessity.

Jill Malcolm from Jefferson College says many of her students don't have internet in their homes, so they have to come to campus to do their homework. Malcolm says it is an inconvenience for them because if the library is closed, there are not many other places to use the internet.

The Governor hopes to have 95% of Missouri connected with the project. But, there are still people who won't benefit from the stimulus money.

Co-Mo Electric Cooperative covers areas along the Lake of the Ozarks and Tipton. They are not getting any stimulus money.

"Our area is un-served or under served," said Randy Klint of Co-Mo Electric. "This area has about 18-19% broadband use, while Klint says the rural average is 41-42%."

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