On Wednesday, experts from all four University of Missouri System universities and MU Extension unveiled a plan to expand broadband access in a rural pilot community. In a public webinar, the UM System Broadband Leadership Team offered highlights of its report.
BRINGING BROADBAND TO A MISSOURI COMMUNITY
On June 1, 2020, nearly one hundred individuals in locations throughout Missouri and
across the United States gathered “online” to help develop a “Plan” to bring broadband to a
Missouri community — Bollinger County.
BroadbandUSA; Implementing a Broadband Network Vision: A Toolkit for Local and Tribal Governments
NTIA launched BroadbandUSA in January 2015 after recognizing that while communities may understand that broadband connectivity and use are vital to their economic development, innovation, education, health care, and public safety needs, they often lack the resources and expertise to seize those benefits. BroadbandUSA assists, educates, and convenes government, community, and industry leaders working to advance broadband initiatives and policy. BroadbandUSA serves as a trusted and neutral strategic advisor, working with public and private sector partners to assess local broadband needs and gaps; identify possible funding and other resources; and plan network infrastructure projects and digital inclusion programs Leveraging years of hands-on private sector experience along with expertise gained from its administration and oversight of broadband grants, BroadbandUSA is publishing a series of guides and toolkits for communities determined to take steps to secure the robust broadband services and digital literacy skills needed to compete in today’s global economy. These publications provide practical advice for developing programs to help communities successfully meet their current and future broadband needs. This Toolkit, Implementing a Broadband Network Vision, describes in detail the nine steps that local and tribal governments should take to realize the goal of deploying broadband network infrastructure to promote economic development, encourage innovation, enhance job opportunities and improve the well-being of community residents.
BroadbandUSA; Costs at-a-Glance: Fiber and Wireless Networks
BroadbandUSA collected information about network construction expenses to increase awareness of the costs associated with deploying a broadband network. This information can help project leaders engage with providers and network operators in their area. This data is based on cost information collected during the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) recent broadband infrastructure grant program1 as well as research on current market prices.
Missouri’s Broadband Plan
More than 1.26 million Missourians do not have access to high speed Internet. Simply put, that’s 20% of the state’s population. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), more than 1.04 million of those citizens reside in the rural parts of the state. In today’s technology-driven world, having access to broadband is more important than ever. The global economy relies on a multitude of technological platforms, many of which are powered by cloud-based systems and can only be effective when strong Internet services are present. The FCC’s National Broadband Plan emphasizes the critical importance of broadband as the ‘’foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competiveness, and a better way of life.”69% of Americans believe that people lacking broadband at home are at a major disadvantage in at least one of these five areas: getting news and information, getting health information, learning new things, accessing government services or looking for job opportunities. To effectively plan for future improvements a good baseline understanding of what is broadband and what the baseline standards include. The term broadband commonly refers to high-speed Internet and includes several high-speed transmission technologies, such as fiber, wireless, satellite, digital subscriber line and cable. Recently, the FCC established a minimum standard to be considered broadband accessible when consumers have the capabilities to receive actual download speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) and actual upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.