Gov. Jay Nixon highlighted the success of Missouri's public/private partnership in expanding broadband at the opening of Big River Telephone's new broadband headquarters in downtown Farmington today. Big River, a partner in the Governor's MoBroadbandNow initiative, has renovated an old fire station to house its broadband offices, as the company continues the installation of 58 wireless broadband towers throughout the seven counties it serves in east-central and southeast Missouri.
Gov. Jay Nixon highlights the success of Missouri's public/private partnership in expanding broadband at the opening of Big River Telephone's new broadband headquarters in downtown Farmington on April 9, 2012.
"Broadband access is a game-changer for businesses, schools, health care providers, first-responders and families, and providing that access throughout Missouri is a key part of our strategy for economic growth," Gov. Nixon said. "Thanks to the coordinated, fast-track efforts of our MoBroadbandNow initiative, broadband is now expanding to areas of rural Missouri that otherwise likely would not have broadband for many years. I congratulate Big River on its continued and impressive progress, and I thank the company and its leaders and employees for their commitment to this community and this region of Missouri."
Gov. Nixon launched the MoBroadbandNow initiative in 2009 to greatly expand broadband to reach more homes, businesses, schools, health care facilities, and public safety agencies. Over the next few years, Missouri will see a total investment of more than $310 million to expand broadband throughout the state, through a combination of federal, state, local and private sector resources, including more than $192 million in competitive federal funding obtained by the state of Missouri and its private and local partners.
Big River worked closely with state officials through MoBroadbandNow and was awarded $24.4 million in grants and loans in competitive federal funding. The Big River broadband project will bring high speed internet access to nearly 45,000 households and more than 7,500 businesses in Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve and Washington counties.
Once the project is finished, 90 percent of the homes in the seven-county area will have high-speed access, compared to less than 30 percent when the project was launched. The project is projected to create more than 1,000 jobs during construction, and more than 70 permanent jobs when completed.