Rural Broadband Update: Part Two
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By Troy Treasure
In October, the Federal Communications Commission identified areas in northeast Missouri eligible for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase 1 auction.
On Dec. 7, the FCC announced allocation of $ 9.2 billion to broadband providers covering 49 states to create access to high-speed Internet service. Missouri was assigned more than $346 million.
A map on the regulatory agency’s website appears to indicate Shelby County had no eligible geographical areas.
The map shows eligible locations in adjoining counties to be, in some cases, spotty.
One area is northwest of Leonard in Macon County at the conjunction of the Knox, Macon and Shelby counties lines. In addition, there are two locations southeast of Emden in Marion County just across the county line.
Monroe County had several areas highlighted, including its portion of Mark Twain Lake’s north shore, as well as a several locations north of Paris.
Others locations in counties bordered by Shelby include south of Edina and east of Highway 15 from Coon Creek to Long Branch; an area at Monticello in Lewis County east and south of Highway 16; locations in Lewis County northwest of Canton, a swath mostly east of Highway 61 south of La Grange into Wakonda State Park, as well as narrow strip hugging the Mississippi River to Quincy, Ill. In Marion County: areas south of Taylor and east and west of Palmyra.
“I am working hard to promote the use of all available funds, regardless of source, to continue deploying broadband internet, preferably future-proof fiber, as fast as we can across Missouri,” state representative Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal) said in an email to the Herald during the weekend.
“I look forward to working with the Parson Administration to get this done sooner rather than later,” Riggs said.
There are two much broader rural parts of the state that were declared eligible by the FCC. One is west-central Missouri from south of Interstate 70 to just north I-44.
A second pushes southeasterly from I-44 from near the Fort Leonard Wood area through portions of the St. Francis Mountains and Mark Twain National Forest to the Arkansas border.