Cori Bush, Department of Commerce Announce $42.2 Million Broadband Infrastructure Grant to Serve 13,000+ Missouri Households
ST. LOUIS, MO — Today, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced a $42.2 million award to expand broadband in Missouri. The award will be used to fund a project through the Department of Economic Development that will deploy last-mile broadband fiber to 12 counties in Missouri, including St. Louis County.
“Universal broadband access must be guaranteed to all — and this funding brings us closer to that goal,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our communities to work and attend school online — illuminating the vast disparities our communities face when it comes to reliable, affordable internet access. The internet is an essential tool that not only connects our communities to resources and possibilities, but also helps our community secure jobs, career training, and other certification programs online. We’re excited to welcome these resources into St. Louis to make our community more equitable. I look forward to our continued partnership with the Department of Commerce to deliver for St. Louis.”
“More than 30 million Americans lack access to reliable broadband, and the problem is worse in minority and rural communities,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “In Missouri, 15% of households don’t have an internet subscription and 5% of Missourians live in areas where there is zero broadband infrastructure. This is an incredible injustice, and today, the Biden-Harris Administration reaffirms our commitment to reversing it.
“These awards are a great first step in our march toward connecting every American to affordable, high-speed broadband service,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “The infrastructure created by Missouri’s Department of Economic Development broadband deployment project will serve over 13,000 households in 12 counties, ensuring more Missourians have access to the broadband they need and deserve. We look forward to working closely with the grant recipients on these critically important projects.”
“We are happy to receive this broadband grant that will help fund last-mile broadband fiber to homes all across the state,” said Governor Mike Parson. “This grant will serve more than 13,000 Missouri households, and this partnership, combined with our state investment of over $400 million, will help us expand quality broadband services to every home, business, school, and farm in Missouri.”
The Broadband Infrastructure Program, which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, was designed to support broadband infrastructure deployment in unserved areas, especially rural areas. NTIA thoroughly and objectively reviewed applications using a three-stage process: Initial Administrative and Eligibility Review of Complete Application Packets, Merit Review and Programmatic Review. Reviewers evaluated applications according to the criteria provided in Section V of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (available under ‘Related Documents’).
Additional broadband funding may be available through the Department of Treasury’s American Rescue Plan Funds. The BroadbandUSA Federal Funding Guide also compiles federal funding opportunities to expand and improve broadband access. More information about the Broadband Infrastructure Program can be found on the BroadbandUSA website.
Congresswoman Cori Bush sits on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, serves as the Progressive Caucus Deputy Whip, and proudly represents St. Louis as a politivist in the halls of the United States Congress.