Monday, November 30, 2009

Missouri Lands Small Slice of Rural Broadband Money

The Nixon administration announced Monday it landed close to $2 million federal stimulus dollars to help increase broadband Internet access across rural areas of the state.

The money, which was bid competitively, was applied for back in August. UPDATE: Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti notes that this money was just targeted for mapping purposes and that none of the infrastructure grants have been awarded yet.

Nixon said the initial funds were a crucial first step. "We will continue to aggressively pursue these federal funds for infrastructure development, even as we now use this $1.9 million for mapping and planning," Nixon said in a statement.

In August, Nixon traveled to Sho-Me Power in Marshfield to announce he would seek $142 million dollars for an initiative that he said would change commerce, healthcare and education in far-reaching areas of the state by laying 2,500 lines of fiber-optic cable and constructing 200 new towers. WATCH the August KY3 News @ 10 Report on the plan HERE.

But Nixon also made clear at the time that there would be several chances to clinch the federal grants.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information has received applications from all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for the pot of money. Six states were awarded grants Monday. But other states already received money over the last two months.

Of the $1.9 million announced Monday, $1.5 will be used for mapping and data collection efforts. The state is also receiving $470,000 for broadband planning.

According to the Governor's office, the money will "help create regional technology planning teams within each of the state’s 19 regional planning council regions to develop a regional broadband adoption plan."

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