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Deadline Nearing for Broadband Business Surveys

Businesses Urged to Respond by June 15.

As part of Govenor Jay Nixon’s MoBroadbandNow initiative, which seeks to expand high-speed Internet access throughout Missouri, input is being sought from local businessess through a Broadband Business Survey. The survey will assist Regional Techology Planning Teams by assessing businesses’ current broadband status, needs, and challenges.

In April, the survey became available online and the state’s 19 RTPTs began reaching out to area businesses and various consitiuent groups within their local communities. These groups were asked to fill out the business survey as accurately as possible and return it electronically or by mail. Businessess are asked to complete the survey and return it with postmark date no later than June 15, 2011.

“High-speed Internet can have a tremendous impact on the local economy and job creation by allowing businesses to deliver faster services and compete in a global ecomony,” said MoBroadbandNow Director Damon Porter. “Receiving feedback from local businesses is critical and an important part of the planning process.”

Surveying local communities is a grassroots approach to broadband and the tremendous impact it can have on people’s lives. The RTPTs should be commended for their role in getting local communities engaged and excited about broadband.

The Broadband Business Survey can be completed online at /mo-broadband-initiatives/broadband-survey/.



Regional Technology Planning Team Hold Kick-Off Meeting in Memphis

As part of Gov. Jay Nixon’s efforts to expand broadband and high-speed Internet access throughout Missouri, the state hosted a kick-off meeting in Memphis to discuss the region’s technology needs.

The Northeast Missouri Broadband Regional Technology Planning Team (RTPT) held the first of three scheduled meetings on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in the conference room of the Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission office in Memphis, MO.

David Mockert of Geo-Decisions, Madison, WI, led the meeting, which was designed to assess the current status of broadband in this area, the obstacles faced, and the efforts in place to improve availability.

“Broadband is important for quality of life to all Missourians and allows them to compete globally,” said MoBroadbandNow Director Damon Porter. “We are gathering community input to create an understanding of where broadband exists today and identify areas there expansion is needed.”

MoBroadbandNow, a public/private partnership launched as part of the governor’s Transform Missouri effort, is bringing local communities together to work to improve broadband, commonly thought of as high-speed Internet access, around the state.

Volunteers from the NEMO RPC’s six-county service area of Clark, Scotland, Schuyler, Knox, Lewis and Adair counties will work together to gather community feedback and to create a strategic broadband plan designed to meet local and regional broadband needs. The team will be led by Melody Whitacre, Community Economic Development Specialist with the NEMO RPC.

This 15 member team features representatives from each of the six counties who were selected based on their involvement in agriculture, exonomic development, energy and environment, healthcare, high education, libraries, public schools, public safety, local government, local internet providers, and tourism.

The group will work over the next 18 months to develop a strategic plan to implement their solutions and to craft benchmarks for success in the region.

Currently, fewer than 80 percent of Missourians have broadband access.  The state’s goal is to increase accessibility to 95 percent of the total population over the next few years. Missouri was awarded more than $275 million in stimulus funds to meet these goals.