CenturyLink to expand broadband service to small towns in southwest Missouri

Internet access in rural southwest Missouri will be improved as CenturyLink builds out infrastructure as part of a nationwide broadband push.

Sixteen communities in Missouri are slated for higher internet speeds, according to a CenturyLink spokeswoman. The buildout is part of a federally-funded national expansion that will provide the company with about $3 billion over six years to offset the costs of service.

The Missouri portion of the expansion amounts to about $78 million in annual payments from the Federal Communications Commission’s program.

Among the communities CenturyLink says will see higher speeds are Hermitage, Weaubleau, Cape Fair, Mountain Grove and Shell Knob. The spokeswoman said other communities in southwest Missouri will see expanded service in the next few years.

The program, called the Connect America Fund, is comparable to efforts in decades past to build out electricity and phone service to non-urban areas and to the construction of the U.S. interstate highway system, according to the FCC.

Read more: Springfield News-Leader

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