U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt addressed rural broadband Wednesday in a speech to the Missouri House of Representatives, marking the second time in two years the Missouri Republican has addressed the issue in a speech to state lawmakers, Missourinet reports.
It was the latest call by an elected official to improve access to internet service in rural parts of the state. Although Missouri will benefit from more than $250 million in federal grants to improve rural broadband and the state has moved to open an Office of Broadband Development, the state continues to receive low marks for internet access.
Missouri ranks as the 41st most connected state in the U.S., according to BroadbandNow, a website that specializes in information about internet service providers.
According to the site, about 85% of people in the state have access to wired broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps, the Federal Communications Commission’s minimum threshold for broadband.
About a fifth of the state has access to less than two providers of wired internet, which qualifies as underserved, according to BroadbandNow.
Nationally, 92% of people have broadband coverage and 13% qualify as underserved.