Missouri Broadband Update – February 2020

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Missouri broadband update – February 2020

February 11, 2020

FCC launches rural digital opportunity fund

On Friday, February 7, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission released the orders and launched the $20 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The reverse auction will take place later this year for a proposed 236,000 locations in high-cost areas of Missouri. Official dates of the auction, eligible map locations, and other program details will be posted within the coming weeks. To read more about the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, click here.

Challenge process for existing broadband providers for Missouri’s Broadband Grant closes in two weeks

Existing broadband providers in Missouri have two weeks remaining to review the applicants and proposed areas under consideration for the inaugural round of the broadband grant program. To see more information about the applicants and proposed project areas, visit the grant website under the Challenge Process section. For detailed information about how the challenge process works, read more in the grant’s FAQ on pages six and seven. Forty applications were received with total project cost of $22 million and seeking grant assistance of over $6.3 million. The 40 project areas propose 10,000 connections (including over 8,600 households).

Six Missouri broadband providers receive $103 million to expand rural broadband from USDA ReConnect Program

Congratulations to the six Missouri Broadband Providers on receiving support from the USDA ReConnect program. In round one of the ReConnect Pilot Program, the USDA invested a total of $103 million throughout Missouri.

The recipients are as follows:

  • GRM Networks, headquartered in Bethany, received $41 million in grant and loan assistance – connecting 2,288 locations including homes, farms, and businesses.
  • Total Highspeed Internet, headquartered in Nixa, received $40.26 million in grant and loan assistance - 8,683 households, 12 educational facilities, one health care center, and eight critical community facilities.
  • Green Hills Communications, headquartered in Breckenridge, received $2.58 million in grant assistance - 546 households, two educational facilities, and one critical community facility.
  • Gascosage Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Dixon, received $14 million in grant and loan assistance – 1,177 households and two critical community facilities.
  • Mid-States Services, headquartered in Trenton, received $3 million in loan assistance – 566 households, one educational facility, and one critical community facility.
  • Marshall Municipal Utilities, headquartered in Marshall, received $1.15 million in grant and loan assistance - 763 households, one educational facility, and one healthcare facility.

USDA opens second round of ReConnect Program

Secretary Perdue launched the second round of the USDA’s ReConnect program making another $500 million available to organizations interested in expanding broadband in rural America. The application cycle opened on January 31, 2020, and will close on March 16, 2020. To find out more information about the ReConnect program, click here.

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