Funding | Legal and Regulatory

Broadband and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act (the Act) has finally become law! Signed by the President on Monday, November 15, it is widely touted as the most consequential piece of infrastructure legislation in a generation. Now comes the complicated part: implementing the provisions of this 1039-page Act. For months, folks have heard the “$65…

Applications and Adoption | Planning

Closing the Digital Divide: Houston, Missouri Finds a Solution

Don Tottingham, longtime Mayor of Houston, Missouri, loved his City and thought it was a great place to raise a family. But he also recognized it had a major infrastructure issue: its residents and most small businesses lacked an adequate, reliable, high-speed internet connection. The Vision Mind you, Houston, Missouri, a city of approximately 2100,…

Legal and Regulatory | Uncategorized

Missouri Legislature Broadband Update

Several bills were introduced in the last session of the Missouri General Assembly related to Broadband. Of particular interest were HB 321 and SB 184.  This legislation was similar to bills introduced in the 2020 legislative session and would have authorized investor-owned electric utilities to offer broadband service to its electric service customers in much…

Funding | Legal and Regulatory | Planning

Helpful Guidance on the Use of ARPA Funds by Local Governments

We’ve written earlier about the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds to pay for broadband infrastructure projects. Besides the cryptic language in the statute (necessary broadband infrastructure) we noted two helpful additional sources published by the U.S. Treasury Department —  the “Interim Final Rule” effective May  17, 2021, and a series of answers…

Using American Recovery Plan Act Funds for Broadband Infrastructure — Guidance for Local Governments
Funding | Legal and Regulatory | Planning

Using American Recovery Plan Act Funds for Broadband Infrastructure — Guidance for Local Governments

By Marc McCarty Memories are short. As I write this in mid-August, the focus is on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the IIJA) that passed the Senate on August 10th. That Bill has made headlines in part because it promises to make $65 billion available for broadband infrastructure and adoption. Even though it…

Applications and Adoption | Funding | Legal and Regulatory

Four Critical Questions Every Community Should Ask Before Providing Public Support for High-Speed Internet Infrastructure

Seemingly overnight communities around the country have realized that affordable, reliable, high-speed is more than a “nice thing to have” – it’s a necessity. The COVID pandemic exposed the risk of relying on stop-gap solutions such as smart phones, hot spots and obsolete DSL technologies. Public officials and local businesses are beginning to understand that hoping for…

Funding | Legal and Regulatory

No, Missouri Law Does Not Prohibit Political Subdivisions From Offering Internet Service to Its Residents and Businesses

No, Missouri Law Does Not Prohibit Political Subdivisions From Offering Internet Service to Its Residents and Businesses That statement might come as a surprise to some folks.  Some articles have stated – without qualification — that Missouri law bars political subdivisions (such as cities, counties, municipal utilities, school districts and other local government entities from…

The FCC’s RDOF Award Announcement – Good News, but Only One Step toward Closing the Digital Divide
Funding

The FCC’s RDOF Award Announcement – Good News, but Only One Step toward Closing the Digital Divide

Some quick reaction to Monday’s FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Auction Award Announcement: It’s good news of course! – Over $346 million allocated to seventeen providers that proposed to bring gigabit level service to almost 200,000 (199,211) locations through-out Missouri.  On average – that means the Federal government is offering to contribute about $1,740…

Planning

Rural Access to Industry: Barriers from the Infrastructure Planning Front Lines

As part of this research initiative, we conducted a qualitative analysis of 11 semi-structured interviews with the planning community in Missouri to identify what barriers they recognize for the deployment of rural broadband in Missouri. Participants reported that the return on investment and the financing of rural broadband projects constitute the main barriers. Technology was…

Legal and Regulatory

New Missouri Statute Encourages Public-Private Partnerships for Broadband Infrastructure

9-3-2020 New Missouri Statute Encourages Public-Private Partnerships for Broadband Infrastructure For many years Missouri cities and counties have used Community Improvement Districts (CID) and Neighborhood Improvement Districts (NID) to finance public infrastructure and to encourage economic development in designated geographic areas (“districts”) located within their borders.  CIDs and NIDs are well-suited for this purpose, because…