Crucial Need for Rural Broadband Creates Inequities in Missouri | KBIA

Crucial Need for Rural Broadband Creates Inequities in Missouri

Oct 25, 2019

Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Broadband access in Missouri took center stage at an MU engagement week session at the Holiday Inn Executive Center on Thursday morning. Despite federal and state funding going toward expanding broadband in Missouri, many areas are still facing difficulties due to a lack of reliable internet access.

Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement, called broadband access “one of the most important needs of the state.”

“We can have a strong economy, healthcare and education,” Stewart said, “but we can’t have it if we don’t figure out a way to put broadband high-speed internet into every community, every school, every place in the state of Missouri.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe told the audience that two of the governor’s top priorities are infrastructure and workforce development, both of which are connected to access to broadband.

Kehoe said there are 10 schools in the state that don’t have any broadband access, and even more that have unreliable internet connections. During sessions and a video that told the stories of Missourians who live in communities without broadband, parents discussed having to take their children to local businesses or family members’ homes so that they can complete homework.

To read more, visit our partners at the Columbia Missourian.