Gov. Jay Nixon helped break ground today for a project that will provide broadband access for education, commerce, health care, entertainment and public safety to some 2,700 homes, 270 businesses and 36 community institutions in eastern Boone and western Callaway counties. The Governor was joined at the Millersburg Christian Church, site of the groundbreaking, by representatives of Socket Telecom, which is building the fiber-optic line, and by area business and elected leaders.
Socket is a partner in the state of Missouri's MoBroadbandNow initiative. Gov. Nixon launched the initiative in 2009 to greatly expand broadband in Missouri 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.
The Socket project in mid-Missouri is being funded with the help of a combination of a $16.6 million grant and a $7.1 million loan, for a total of $23.7 million in one-time available federal funding that the state assisted in obtaining through the MoBroadbandNow partnership.
"Through our state and local partnership, area schools, courthouses, hospitals, public safety agencies and libraries across the state soon will be able to provide faster, more reliable Internet service," Gov. Nixon said. "Students in the biggest cities to the smallest towns will have access to the same next-generation learning tools. Missouri businesses, whether at the forefront of innovation or in a storefront on Main Street, will be able to grow, succeed and prosper. Missouri broadband is a step in the right direction, and together, we're moving forward."