(The Center Square) – Missouri is set to receive $1.7 billion in federal funding for broadband internet expansion.
The funding is coming from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is part of the bipartisan Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act. Nationwide, more than $42 billion is being allocated through the BEAD program.
Gov. Mike Parson in a statement credited Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s efforts to secure this funding as well as the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
“This significant allocation will greatly assist our ongoing investments in Missouri’s broadband infrastructure and build upon our recent $400 million investment,” the governor said.
Missouri’s allocation is the third-highest among states.
BJ Tanksley director of the Missouri Office of Broadband Development, said that this shows “the critical need for broadband expansion” across the state. The allocation will fund the state’s Connecting All Missourians initiative.
“As our Office of Broadband Development works to expand access statewide, this funding will go a long way in meeting our goal of connecting all Missourians,” said Michelle Hataway, acting director of the Department of Economic Development.