MoBroadbandNow is a public-private initiative of multiple cooperative partners committed to expanding broadband accessibility. Governor Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon established MoBroadbandNow to facilitate the integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies. Broadband connectivity is a crucial element to Missouri remaining globally competitive in the 21st century.
The Governor’s goal is to increase broadband accessibility from its 2009 level of 79 percent to 95 percent by the end of 2014. Ensuring all segments of Missouri’s population are connected to high-speed data service goes beyond accessibility to include adoption, affordability, speed, choice, and usage. The MoBroadbandNow initiative includes the following specific efforts:
Compete for Federal Funding
Through the MoBroadbandNow initiative, Missouri has aggressively competed to bring broadband grants and loans to the state. Missouri was very successful in its efforts bringing in $261 million for 19 projects. These projects must be substantially complete within two years, which means that Missourians should begin to reap the benefits of improvements in the near future.
MoBroadbandNow established AgBroadbandNow, focusing on the specific high-speed needs of the agriculture and agri-business communities, and the Rural Health Broadband Initiative, which supports hospitals and clinics to expand telemedicine, health record management and online applications. Through the initiative, MoBroadbandNow has awarded $362,390.00 in Rural Hospital Broadband Connection Grants to rural hospitals with 50 patient beds or less. These grant funds were matched with $143,879.00, for a total project investment of $506,269.00.
Missouri Broadband Summit
MoBroadbandNow convened broadband summits in the fall of 2010 and 2011. The inaugural broadband summit in 2010 brought together nearly 300 participants representing citizens, providers, regional and state advocacy groups and industry sectors. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information on the current state of broadband accessibility in Missouri as well as discussion on how best to engage communities at the grassroots level with local and regional planning. The 2010 summit served as a catalyst for beginning regional technology planning process.
The 2011 broadband summit included a review of the needs assessment process and the data collected from providers, industry sectors, residents and businesses. Keynote presentations from nationally recognized broadband experts including Blair Levin of the Aspen Institute, author Craig Settles and Keith Bryars of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as panel discussions on regional planning, economic development, and community engagement rounded out the meeting.
MoBroadbandNow also participated in the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Broadband Summit in October 2012. The summit brought the eight DRA states together in Memphis, Tennessee to discuss broadband challenges in the region.
Regional Broadband Planning
The 2011 broadband summit kicked-off a long-term planning effort to ensure continued enhancement of broadband access and ensure that the infrastructure meets the needs of citizens, businesses, and government. The 19 Regional Planning Commissions (RPC) across the state develop region-specific broadband plans. Each RPC engaged a Regional Planning Technical Team (RTPT), which included citizens, policy makers, business, industry, higher education, schools, investors, and others. The MoBroadbandNow initiative provided technical assistance, data, and information during the process. A second round of the regional planning process will be taking place in 2013. All Missourians are encouraged to participate in this process by attending meetings or reaching out to provide comments and input to local members of the planning committees. This is a grass roots effort designed to allow you substantial input.
Timeline of Events
|Regional planning teams|
|First round meeting||March 2011|
|Residential and Business Surveys||April 2011|
|Second round meeting||June 2011|
|Sector analysis and feedback||July 2011|
|Statewide plenary meeting||November 2011|
|Third round meeting||April 2012|
|Regional plans||May 2012|
|Statewide strategic plan||Spring 2013|