New NTIA Data Show Enduring Barriers to Closing the Digital Divide, Achieving Digital Equity

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted what many already knew: high-speed internet access is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. As workplaces and schools shifted to online environments, families that lacked access to affordable, reliable, high-speed connections, appropriate devices, and digital skills fell further behind. Newly released data from the 2021 NTIA…

|

Digitally Connected Community Guide tapped for national workshop

The University of Missouri System Broadband Initiative team was tapped to help train extension professionals to be effective partners in closing their state’s digital divide. The May 3–5 workshop in St. Louis equipped participants from 11 states with training and tools based on the UM System’s Digitally Connected Community Guide model to help close critical broadband…

|

Seven “Characteristics” of Successful Broadband Public-Private Partnerships

We are at the beginning of  the Great Broadband Infrastructure Funding Boom. New federal funding for broadband started with the CARES Act and picked up steam with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) but the amounts involved are dwarfed by over $65 billion that will be distributed by the federal government over the next few…

Are Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites the Answer to Missouri’s High-Speed Internet Access Problem?

(De-mystifying Some of the Technology Behind Your Internet Connection) By Marc McCarty When I talk to people around the state about bringing high-speed internet access to underserved communities, invariably someone mentions  “the SpaceX Starlink thing that Elon Musk is building.” Musk is not the only person interested in building low-earth orbit satellite (LEO Satellite) networks….

|

The Broadband DATA Act, RDOF, BEAD, The Long Slog Toward Broadband Access

As 2022 begins, it seemed an appropriate time to take stock of progress we’ve made in funding broadband access. This blog checks in on some federal government programs that have gotten quite a few headlines over the past year or two, to see how implementation is going.

|

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…

|

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,…

|

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…