NEOSHO, Mo. — Southwest Missouri leaders are focusing future plans on building better broadband options for the region.

A workshop, today, at “The Civic” in Neosho, attracted dozens of people hoping to take advantage of new federal funding for broadband projects. County commissioners and economic development leaders were on hand — as were representatives from internet service providers, utility companies and crowder college.

“The amount of federal funding they’re putting toward broadband infrastructure is unprecedented. And the funding opportunities for counties, for cities, for economic development districts are really going to be for those that have a viable plan to use the federal funds wisely,” said Chett Daniel, Crowder Dir. Research & Innovation.

Federal lawmakers have earmarked funding for broadband expansion in a number of bills across the country, including $65 billion in the 2021 infrastructure bill.