For rural Missouri, high-speed Internet still a wait

Photo courtesy of Illinois Country Living
In 19 Missouri counties, less than 1 percent of the population had access to high-speed Internet. Ten counties had none. | Photo courtesy of Illinois Country Living

In the past six years, the federal government has pumped more than $260 million into Missouri to improve high-speed Internet speeds and coverage in underserved areas, such as rural communities and small cities, with spotty results.

DSL, cable and fiber-optic networks are the three wired telecommunications technologies that can deliver advanced broadband — or service capable of download speeds of at least 25 megabytes per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, according to the FCC’s benchmark — while satellite and wireless broadband service are considered the least reliable, last resorts for the most dire of rural customers.

As of June 2014, Missouri ranked 37th among U.S. states in percentage of the population with access to advanced broadband, according to data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

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