Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission authorized more than $175 million in funding over 10 years for the expansion of rural broadband in Missouri. These investments will connect over 68,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in Missouri.
Wisper ISP Inc. is listed as the company providing rural broadband in Missouri. The counties listed and funding amounts are Iron, $115,273; Madison, $9,747,119; St. Francois, $6,105,227; Ste. Genevieve, $8,723,164; and Washington, $5,839,766.
“Today’s announcement is another important step in our efforts to close the digital divide and connect rural residents of Missouri with the economic, healthcare, and educational opportunities made possible by high-speed broadband,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “In my travels around the country, I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand how funding provided through the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction is having a positive impact on rural communities. And the funding we are approving today will build on that success as we connect more rural Americans with digital opportunity.”
Nationwide, the FCC Thursday announced more than $240 million in funding for rural broadband across 9 states. This represents the ninth wave of support from the 2018 successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Providers must build out to 40% of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in Missouri within three years. Buildout must increase by 20% in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.
The Connect America Fund Phase II Auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America. In January, the FCC took its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.
In total, the Connect America Fund Auction in 2018 allocated $1.488 billion in support over the next 10 years to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses in 45 states. The FCC has now authorized nine waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to more than $250 million in Missouri and more than $1.4 billion nationwide, which is expanding connectivity to 94,059 homes and businesses in Missouri and 627,097 nationwide.