JOPLIN, MO – A Missouri project to extend Broadband to more and more families is growing, but there’s still more work to do.
What kind of expansion are wee seeing in high speed internet?
Millions of dollars have been invested to increase Broadband in rural areas.
And there has been significant growth in the past three years.
“Some weekends it’s doable, and other weekends my husband will use a hotspot on his phone, and if I need to really get much done, I’ll come over into work and just work from here.” Says Amber Sachetta, Joplin.
Sachetta lives just a few miles outside of Joplin, but connecting to the internet is hit or miss.
“Catching up on emails and doing various quotes and things at home sometimes the evening or weekend is when I’d like to get it done but it just doesn’t always work out that way.” Says Sachetta.
Which is the case for many Missourians.
State officials say 392 thousand still don’t have reliable high speed internet.
That is an improvement from three years ago when the number was 586,000.
And expanding broadband service is about more than just streaming videos or surfing the web.
It’s crucial for students learning remotely, and makes a major impact in the business community.
“Broadband is an important tool for economic growth.” Says Tony Robyn, MOKAN Partnership.
The state has seen several grants to help fund broadband development in rural areas, including 50 million dollars announced by Governor Mike Parson last summer.
“I know that a lot of people like to equate it back to the electrification of rural America at the turn of the last century that it was a tool and infrastructure tool or utility to level the playing field.” Says Robyn.
The state of Missouri currently ranks 32nd nationwide for Broadband access.
That’s an improvement over the last ranking by nine spaces.