Rural High Speed Internet
BOONE COUNTY - While the state aims to expand broadband Internet, some cannot stand the wait anymore for the much needed residential high-speed services. Boone County resident Becky McCray said she has tried every possible way to get high-speed Internet at her home and nothing seems to work. McCray lives just south of Interstate 70 and east of the Callaway County line on Bozarth Lane. Her home barely misses the Century Link DSL line cut-off by about half a mile, Satellite services are not powerful enough and she does not receive 3G services in her area. On top of all that, McCray also missed out on Socket's Callaway County grant project by only a few thousand feet, which will extend high-speed services from the Callaway County line into Fulton.
"I'm very irritated that supposedly this is a big thing put on by our government that we are supposed to have high speed and everybody around us seems to have high speed Internet but about 40 families around us, and nobody seems to care," McCray said.
One of her biggest concerns is that her son, who is attending Moberly Area Community College, cannot access school work online.
"He can't have any hybrid classes from school," McCray said. "We're stuck back in the stone-age pretty much."
While McCray's situation seems hopeless, MOBroadbandNow hopes to reach people just like her. The program's director Damon Porter said MOBroadbandNow wants to hear input from people in situations like McCray.
"What we are hearing is the same stories a lot of folks are hearing. They are either having slow speeds at home, they can't get connected at home at all, they are very frustrated with the lack of opportunities and choices," Porter said. "So what we want to do is try to get as many people affordable, fast broadband as possible and give them the choices that they're looking for."
MOBroadbandNow plans to do this with the help of regional planning teams. On Tuesday, the state launched a team for the state's Eastern region. The teams are made up of people from the public and private sector of that area's community. It's goal is to get feedback from the community on what areas have and do not have broadband access.
"We are working as fast as we possibly can, but what we want is the input from local citizens just like [McCray]," Porter said. "Whatever plan we come up with is from the ground up."
Mid-Missouri has a regional planning commission located in Ashland. For more information about the Mid-Missouri commission contact Chris Eggen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-657-9779. You can also visit the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission website here. http://www.mmrpc.org/
Right now, less than 80 percent of Missourians have some access to broadband. Porter said the state hopes to increase that to 95 percent by 2014.