The Senate Commerce Committee approved a proposal from Sen. Dan Hegeman to extend the sunset provision of the Broadband Internet Grant program from 2021 to 2027. This program provides grants to local internet service providers to extend broadband to unserved and underserved areas - which are mostly found in rural parts of northern and southern Missouri. This program is a top priority to Gov. Mike Parson. He has asked the legislature to appropriate $10 million for it, which would double the funds that it received last year. The House Economic Development Committee heard an identical proposal (HB 1859) from Rep. Louis Riggs.
Lincoln County will be initiating a broadband survey very soon to get a better picture of un-served and under-served areas. This will help internet providers have a better chance of receiving these grants. Please watch for additional details to follow soon.