The Federal Communications Commission recently authorized more than $175 million in funding throughout 10 years for the expansion of rural broadband in Missouri. These investments will connect more than 68,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in Missouri, including some in Dallas County.
“Today’s announcement is another important step in our efforts to close the digital divide and connect rural residents of Missouri with the economic, health care and educational opportunities made possible by high-speed broadband,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. “In my travels around the country, I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand how funding provided through the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction is having a positive impact on rural communities. And the funding we are approving today will build on that success as we connect more rural Americans with digital opportunity.”
Nationwide, the FCC announced more than $240 million in funding for rural broadband across nine states. This represents the ninth wave of support from the 2018 successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Providers must build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in Missouri within three years. Build-out must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete build-out is reached at the end of the sixth year.
In Dallas County, $617,731 will be provided throughout 10 years, and that will help serve 104 homes and businesses.
Surrounding counties that will also see broadband expansion as part of the funding include the following: Camden, $7,852,350 and 3,848 locations; Greene, $2,745,902 and 1,338 locations; Laclede, $745,909 and 97 locations; Polk, $1,081,910 and 195 locations; and Webster, $75,061 and 65 locations.
The minimum download and upload speeds to be provided in the six counties listed are 100 Mbps and 20 Mbps, respectively. Wisper ISP Inc. is the Internet service provider in Missouri that is receiving the funding.
In total, the Connect America Fund Auction in 2018 allocated $1.488 billion in support throughout the next 10 years to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses in 45 states. The FCC has now authorized nine waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to more than $250 million in Missouri and more than $1.4 billion nationwide, which is expanding connectivity to 94,059 homes and businesses in Missouri and 627,097 nationwide. Funding rounds will continue until the authorization process is complete.
The Connect America Fund Phase II Auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America. In January, the FCC took its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.
A map of winning bids in the auction is available at fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/caf2-auction903-results/.