News Items

These News Items are the most pertinent information as it relates to federal funding and things that require immediate attention. If something seems missing or you have an item that should be added feel free to send it to info@mobroadband.org.

September 20, 2021 - New Broadband Technology Launched in Turney, MO

More than 30 Clinton County residents in the Village of Turney celebrated the launch of the much-anticipated new Internet technology experiment on Thurs., Sept. 17, 2021.

September 8, 2021 - MetroNet to Make O’Fallon a Gigabit City

MetroNet announced plans to build an advanced fiber-optic network in O’Fallon, bringing gigabit-speed internet service to residents and businesses in the city for the first time. MetroNet, the nation’s largest independently owned 100 percent fiber-optic provider, will fully fund the construction through a multi-million dollar investment. MetroNet expects construction to begin in O’Fallon next year, with the first customers coming online as neighborhood buildouts are completed.

August 25, 2021 - FCC ANNOUNCES OVER $5 BILLION IN FUNDING REQUESTS
RECEIVED IN EMERGENCY CONNECTIVITY FUND PROGRAM

The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it has received requests for $5.137 billion to fund 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections as part of the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

August 19, 2021 - Governor Parson Announces $400 Million Plan to Improve Broadband Infrastructure in Missouri

During a press conference at the Missouri State Fair hosted by the Missouri Farm Bureau, Governor Mike Parson announced plans to deploy more than $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase broadband internet access, adoption, and assistance statewide

August 11, 2021 - What the $65B broadband service plan will do

The Senate’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan includes a $65 billion investment in broadband that the White House says will “deliver reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to every household.”

August 4, 2021 - Here’s What’s in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Spending Bill

State and local governments are set to receive billions if the legislation passes, including funding to support cybersecurity, broadband, transit, roads, water and more. Here are the details.

July 28, 2021 - Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal: FACT SHEET

The President and the bipartisan group announced agreement on the details of a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure, which will be taken up in the Senate for consideration. In total, the deal includes $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just.

June 29, 2021 - FCC LAUNCHES COUNTRY’S LARGEST EFFORT TO CLOSE HOMEWORK GAP

Today, FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced schools and libraries can now begin to file applications for the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, the agency’s latest effort to connect Americans.

June 25, 2021 - Economic Benefits of Expanding Broadband in Select Missouri Counties

This study estimated the 10-year economic benefits that would result from expanding fixed broadband adoption in three Missouri counties that vary in their existing adoption levels and population size: Bollinger, Henry and Nodaway. Fixed broadband includes fiberoptic, cable, or DSL (digital subscriber line) technologies considered more reliable that other broadband connections.

June 25, 2021 - FCC, NTIA AND USDA ANNOUNCE INTERAGENCY AGREEMENT TO COORDINATE BROADBAND FUNDING DEPLOYMENT

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), today announced an interagency agreement to share information about and coordinate the distribution of federal broadband deployment funds.

June 1, 2021 - The American Rescue Plan is the Broadband Down Payment the Country Needs

It’s no longer a debate: Broadband is essential infrastructure. And no essential infrastructure should have the kinds of gaps we see within the broadband sector.

May 10, 2021 - The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Facts Sheet

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. Treasury also released details on how these funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic response needs, fill revenue shortfalls among these governments, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. With the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, eligible jurisdictions will be able to access this funding in the coming days to address these needs.

March 31, 2021 - Clinton County Selected to Test New Broadband Technology

A small town in northwestern Missouri is one of seven communities in the nation testing experimental technology that could expand rural access to high-speed internet and the opportunities that can bring.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is leading a team that has been awarded a one-year, $300,000 grant through the technology nonprofit US Ignite’s Project OVERCOME.

March 22, 2021 - FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program – Summary

On February 25th, the FCC unanimously adopted a Report and Order that established the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative to help lower the cost of high-speed internet for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program was created by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This is a new program and information is being hastily compiled and distribute. This document represents the best understanding of the program possible at this time.

March 1st, 2021 - FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Fact Sheet

On February 25th, the FCC unanimously adopted a Report and Order that established the Emergency
Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative to help lower the cost of high-speed internet
for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit
Program was created by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

February 26, 2021 - USDA Invests $1.6 Million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine Infrastructure to Improve Healthcare Access in Missouri

These projects will allow three Missouri entities to establish or expand telemedicine networks that will ultimately improve rural Missourians’ access to much-needed, close to home, quality healthcare,” said Acting State Director Thomas. “These investments by the Biden administration are a prime example of Rural Development’s mission—improving the quality of life for rural Americans

February 25, 2021 - FCC ADOPTS REPORT AND ORDER TO IMPLEMENT EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT PROGRAM

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. Under the law, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.

February 17th, 2021 - FBA, NTCA Question Starlink RDOF Viability

Fiber Broadband Association and NTCA called into question whether the Starlink satellite constellation
that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is developing will be able to meet the service provision commitments it made as a winning bidder in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. FBA
and NTCA urged the FCC to carefully scrutinize all auction winners’ longform applications.

February 10, 2021 - Public-Private Collaboration Imperative to Deliver Modern Connectivity

Connectivity is a necessity in today’s digital world. Economic opportunity, educational advancement, health and safety, social mobility, and civic engagement are increasingly tied to the widespread availability of high-speed digital communication. Broadband is often discussed as a “common good,” which is defined as something that a community provides to all members in order to fulfill a collective obligation to care for certain interests that all members have in common. Examples of common goods include
roadways, public safety services, a judicial system, public schools, parks, cultural institutions, and public transportation, as well as clean air and water.

December 7, 2020 - Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction to Expand Broadband to over 10 Million Rural Americans

More than $346 million was earmarked to expand Missouri’s rural broadband infrastructure, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Monday.

The funds come from the commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, a $20 billion effort to bring broadband services to rural homes and small businesses.

More than 199,000 unserved Missouri homes and businesses are set to receive access to the internet at speeds averaging 25 megabytes per second (MBPS) through the fund, according to the commission.

November 30, 2020 - Broadband Brings Varied Economic Impacts

During a National Telecommunications and Information Administration webinar, speakers discussed how broadband organizations can influence economic development projects, job numbers, local revenues and more. Read more.

November 1, 2020 - Reimagining Rural Policy: Organizing Federal Assistance to Maximize Rural Prosperity

The federal programs and tools available today to help generate social and economic development in rural communities serve as a reminder of active and broad federal involvement in the 20th century, and the possibilities for federal leadership to help rural communities meet the current moment. Yet they are outdated, fragmented, and incoherent.

October 22, 2020 - Trump Administration Invests $91.5 Million in High-Speed Broadband in Rural Missouri

The Trump Administration announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $91.5 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Missouri. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.

October 5, 2020 - COVID-19 School Response Dashboard

This dashboard may be relevant for local education decision makers dealing with COVID and trying to figure out whether to continue to allocate resources to in home online learning. Take a look at the results over a wide range of schooling options and compare results. Also, consider adding information for your school if you want to participate.

September 17, 2020 - The Farms of the Future Hinge on High-Speed Internet

Farms could contribute billions more dollars to the U.S. economy with the help of precision agriculture technology, but this can’t happen without more broadband, said experts during a National Telecommunications and Information Administration webinar yesterday.

September 15, 2020 - Department of Agriculture Rules and Regulations – USDA Program to Provide Grant/Loan Funding for up to 10% of the Cost of Broadband for Rural Farms and Businesses

The Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Housing Service, agencies that comprise the Rural Development Mission Area within the United States Department of Agriculture, are issuing this final rule to establish the authority authorized by Section 6210 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which will assist rural families and small businesses in gaining access to broadband service by permitting recipients of a loan, grant, or loan guarantee from RD to use up to 10 percent of the amount provided to construct broadband infrastructure in areas not served by minimum acceptable level of broadband service.

September 10, 2020 - How Broadband Internet Could be Affordable and Accessible for Everyone

Give everybody the internet. We need to get the internet to everyone in America. Here’s what it would take to do it.

August 24, 2020 - America’s Moral Obligation for Universal Broadband

Too little progress has been made to ensure that high-speed Internet is available to all. As the pandemic has demonstrated, far too many still don't have what they need to function in a virtual world.

August 19, 2020 - Request For Qualifications – Phase 1: Wireline and Wireless Internet Access For Students

In Phase 1 Kansas City, MO seeks to connect students from low-income households to the Internet this school year to facilitate participation in distance learning programs implemented by the school districts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 14, 2020 - Cities Lose the Legal Battle Against FCC 5G Policies

A battle between dozens of city governments and some of the world's largest wireless carriers
over the future of 5G infrastructure appears to have ended with a decisive victory for the
telecom companies.

July 21, 2020 - Bridging the Digital Divide in the COVID-19 ERA: A Virtual Fireside Chat

Earlier this month [July 21], Marshall Stewart joined federal, state and Kansas City leaders online for a panel discussion, co-presented by the Urban League of Kansas City's COVID-19 Collective Impact Collaborative and the Kansas City Public Library.

Panelists discussed the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the pervasive inequities of the digital divide. They examined the economic, educational, and social gulf between those who have computers and online access and those who do not – and the impact that has particularly on Black Americans and other disadvantaged populations in Kansas City and across the country. All agreed there is urgent need for comprehensive and effective solutions to ensure our nation’s continuing competitiveness and opportunities to prosper for all.

Other participants included Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks (a native of Kansas City), Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Third District Kansas City Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell and Kansas City Public Library Deputy Director Carrie Coogan, who is part of the steering council of the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion and a member National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s board of directors.

The blue-ribbon group assessed local and national efforts to ensure that homes and individuals across the city, state, and nation have broadband access — as much a household necessity in today’s technology-driven society as water, gas, and electricity.

Moderators were Gwendolyn Grant, CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, and Clint Odom, the National Urban League’s senior vice president for policy and advocacy and executive director of the NUL’s Washington bureau. The session also featured a message from South Carolina Rep. and U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn.

July, 2020 - Disconnected: Seven Lessons on Fixing the Digital Divide

Communities across the country are in an economic race. To compete, they need employers and qualified workers, both of which require a robust information- and knowledge-sharing infrastructure. While some communities are ahead of the pack, others are falling far behind.
Broadband is a critical component in this economic race, allowing businesses large and small to reach customers, farmers to deploy resource-saving technologies, and workers to learn critical job skills.

July, 2020 - DEEDP Broadband Research

Beginning in mid-2017, DEEDP endeavored to answer several questions arising surrounding broadband and its impact on rural Missouri. Key questions included broadband’s impact on out-migration and in-migration, the impact of low services, slow speed broadband and relatively high prices compared to areas with fiber’s high-speed broadband and low prices. In the analysis the economic and social impact of high-speed broadband was both qualitatively and quantitatively presented in an easy to understand format designed for policy makers and business executives.

July 13, 2020 - July 8th, Workshop Report Live Stream

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. 

July 6, 2020 - 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.

July 2, 2020 - Governor Parson directs nearly $50 million in relief funds to aid in broadband expansion and COVID-19 response

Governor Parson announced nearly $50 million to support broadband expansion across Missouri, including support directed at telehealth and education. The Governor also signed house bill 1768, which expands the state’s existing Missouri Broadband Grant Program until 2027.

June 21, 2020 - Commentary: Broadband is a necessary utility. Let’s treat it like one

There was a time when telephone lines did not span the U.S., proudly marking the landscape in nearly every conceivable populated area. But telephones, as with refrigerators and light bulbs before them, soon became essential.

June 10, 2020 - Mississippi’s ‘Broadband Revolution’ Picks Up Speed

In 2018, Mississippi ranked near the bottom of the country in terms of broadband access. Today, evidence suggests a 2019 law could forever change the status quo of high-speed Internet in rural Mississippi.

May 21, 2020 - Microsoft Implores Congress: Fund Broadband Connectivity

Company president Brad Smith urges lawmakers to include broadband expansion funding as part of a coronavirus stimulus package. As millions are working and studying from home, Internet connectivity is no longer an option.

May 12, 2020 - Broadband Internet Access Is a Social Determinant of Health!

Now, more than ever, broadband Internet access (BIA) must be recognized as a social determinant of health. Disparities in access should be treated as a public health issue because they affect “the health of people and communities where they live, learn, work and play.”

April, 2019 - A Case For Rural Broadband

Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies

April 8, 2020 - Pandemic Forces Local Governments’ Hands into Era of Virtual Public Meetings

Local governments have a legal obligation to keep conducting business and engaging the public during the global pandemic, but there can often be more to virtual public meetings than meets the eye.

April 2, 2020 - Coronavirus Has Potential to Reshape Government Technology

The coronavirus crisis has made it clear that technology is essential to continuity of government. CIOs may see more of their wish lists fulfilled, but investing in IT will be tough with budgets heading south.

March 19, 2020 - Alabama Lawmaker Calls for Federal Emergency Broadband Funds

Describing rural Americans as "feeling abandoned and desperately in need of help," Rep. Robert Aderholt has asked the Trump administration to address connectivity that enables remote education and health services.

February 12, 2020 - MidSouth Electric Co-op Partners with Conexon to Launch Broadband Network to Serve Over 25,000 Homes and Businesses

Building a fiber-to-the-home network will deliver world-class, high-speed communications for co-op members and enhance electrical infrastructure with smart grid capabilities.

February 12, 2020 - Bill Offers $400M for State, Local Government Cybersecurity

The just-introduced bipartisan bill would send the money to state and local governments through the Department of Homeland Security, which would also create a new federal strategy for cybersecurity.

February 8, 2020 - The Risks and Rewards of Municipal Broadband

Broadband is the most important infrastructure investment a community can make,especially as a new generation of connection is upon us: ultra-broadband.

February 3, 2020 - State of the States 2020: Broadband Is Critical Infrastructure

The nation’s governors are delving into their varied policy priorities for the coming year, but a new shared reality is emerging: Governors are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to the Internet.

January 30, 2020 - FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) – Summary

This is a single-page summary of the FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

January 31,2020 - BroadbandUSA: Guide to Federal Funding of Broadband Projects

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) BroadbandUSA program has compiled this guide of federal funding programs for broadband-related projects. BroadbandUSA will also update this guide periodically, so be sure to obtain the latest version at: http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/files/broadband_fed_funding_guide.pdf.NTIA’s BroadbandUSA program is dedicated to helping communities achieve their broadband goals and working with you to determine if funding is available to meet a specific community’s needs. If you have additional questions about the information contained in this guide, please contact us at broadbandusa@ntia.doc.gov or 202-482-2048.

November, 13 2019 - Rural Businesses Limited by Lack of Broadband

Poor broadband service is not uncommon for the Hermitage area or the county. Hickory County ranks
92nd out of 115 in broadband speed in Missouri counties, according to data from the Federal
Communications Commission, or FCC.