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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

Gov. Parson Releases Around $50 Million to Aid in Broadband Expansion and COVID-19 Response

Missouri Department of Economic Development

On Thursday, July 2, Governor Parson announced nearly $50 million to support broadband expansion across Missouri, including funds directed at telehealth and education. The Governor also signed house bill 1768--this expands the state’s existing Missouri Broadband Grant Program until 2027.
Funding for the new programs comes in large part from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and is aimed at improving resiliency and aiding in the COVID-19 response.

The new initiatives included will be an emergency broadband investment with $20 million in reimbursement for expansion to households with students or vulnerable poplulations; $5.25 million in support for telehealth services; $2.5 million to implement and administer a grant program for Missouri's libraries to access resources for hotspots and Wi-Fi enabled devices; $10 million in reimbursement to increase student connectivity for K-12 distance learning;  $10 million for higher education distance learning, which includes upgrades to campus broadband networks, with student access to Wi-Fi devices, hotspots and enhanced learning management systems; and $615,000 in grant support for a pilot project including Broadband Modeling and Engineering Feasability Plans for up to 24 counties or 8 regional areas.

Currently, an estimated 300,000 Missouri households, 195,000 K-12 students, and 54,000 businesses and farms lack access to high speed internet.