Hundreds of thousands of Missourians will soon see improvements to their internet access as Brightspeed has announced it is building a large segment of its fiber optics network throughout the Show-Me State.
Brightspeed, a fiber optic company out of Charlotte, North Carolina, expects construction to begin soon and will provide enhanced internet access to 130,000 homes and businesses across 19 counties by the end of 2023. The company then plans to install infrastructure for 180,000 additional homes and businesses by the end of 2024.
Brightspeed’s 2022-2023 building plan will bring reliable internet to markets in Boone, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Dent, Gasconade, Howell, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Marion, Moniteau, Nodaway, Oregon, Phelps, St. Charles, Texas and Wright counties.
The fiber optics project is expected to cost more than $2 billion and will reach at least three million homes and businesses over the next five years, including many rural areas where high-speed internet isn’t as accessible.
“Beyond our own substantial network build in Missouri, we look forward to working with stakeholders at state and local levels to further expand fiber-based internet in our serving territory through the Missouri Department of Economic Development Broadband Infrastructure grant program, and other opportunities as they arise,” said Tom Maguire, chief operating officer of Brightspeed in a press release.
“Access to high-quality internet service has never been more relevant to today’s households and businesses, whether for work, education, healthcare, or entertainment. Brightspeed intends to be a leader in developing connectivity solutions that best benefit our customers in the Missouri cities, towns, and neighborhoods we are privileged to serve.”
The plan officially makes Missouri Brightspeed’s third largest build target for 2023 en route to its goal of 1 million locations reached by next year. The fiber network will deliver download and upload speeds with capabilities to surpass 1 gigabits per second, much higher than that of non-fiber internet.
“Expanding affordable broadband connectivity to every part of Missouri – rural, urban, and suburban – has been a top priority for our administration,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a press release. “High-speed internet access is critical for our kids to learn, farmers to access markets, and businesses to grow. Just this year, we approved nearly $400 million in funding opportunities to expand internet access across our state. We appreciate Brightspeed’s investment that will help connect hundreds of thousands of Missourians and increase economic opportunity for Missouri families.”
Brightspeed will announce further state-specific build plans over the next several weeks.