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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies
February 12, 2020 - MidSouth Electric Co-op Partners with Conexon to Launch Broadband Network to Serve Over 25,000 Homes and Businesses
Broadband is the most important infrastructure investment a community can make,especially as a new generation of connection is upon us: ultra-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.