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Bluebird Network

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Bluebird Service Coverage Map

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Name of Rural Development Program: Broadband Initiatives Program
Project Name: Northern Missouri Ultra-High Capacity High Speed Internet Access
Applicant Name: Bluebird Network LLC
Project Location: Northern and Central Missouri

Benefits: Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure

Project Tracking and Transparency

ARRA Funds  

Bluebird Media Award Summary on

  •      Loan $ 0
  •      Grant $ 45,145,250
  •      Cash and In-Kind Match $ 19,658,100
  •      Total $ 64,803,350


Background and Historical Data 
In August 2010 Bluebird Media received a $45.1 Million American Recovery and Redevelopment Act (ARRA) grant.  The grant funds plus support from the State of Missouri and private investors (totaling 64,803,350 million) will be used to construct a fiber network that brings ultra-high-speed Internet broadband infrastructure to underserved communities in northern and central Missouri north of Highway 50 and across the state from Kansas City to St. Louis. This ARRA grant is administered by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

March 2011 Bluebird Media merged with the Missouri Network Alliance (MNA), a telecommunications company in Kansas City, Missouri serving northern rural Missouri and became Bluebird Network.  The new company’s combined broadband infrastructure connects multiple rural and underserved counties and maximizes federal, state and private investment dollars by building upon an existing network and dramatically increasing overall capacity and connectivity.  Bluebird Network will add approximately 1,000 miles of new fiber to its 3,500 miles of existing and dark fiber miles.

Bluebird Network broke ground for its new fiber route in late August 2011 and will complete the installation of 1,000 miles of new fiber by 2013, with approximately one mile of new fiber construction completed per day. Bluebird Network will create and sustain over 200 engineering, construction, and administrative jobs over the duration of the three year grant period.

Bluebird Network’s backbone high-speed broadband, vital for economic growth and development in rural communities, will be a tremendous benefit to communities as it will provide local last mile carriers with the high capacity bandwidth (10 Mbps-100 Gbps) needed to expand services. They will be able to provide their customers the capacity needed to utilize cutting-edge applications and broadband intensive services such as video streaming, telecommuting, and e-learning.  As construction progresses across Missouri, over 100 Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) such as libraries, K-12 schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, medical providers, government agencies and public safety entities will have opportunities to connect directly to Bluebird Network’s broadband backbone.