Nixon Announces MoBroadbandNow

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Earlier today, Gov. Nixon announced that as part of the MoBroadbandNow project, the state of Missouri has entered into an agreement with Sho-Me Technologies, L.L.C., to deploy a robust high-speed network connecting many communities around the state. This public-private partnership will build a “middle-mile” network bringing high-speed broadband services to many of Missouri’s unserved and underserved communities.
 
Sho-Me Technologies will submit a grant application this week as part of the federal stimulus funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP). The total project budget is $176 million and would deploy approximately 2,500 miles of new fiber and construct two hundred wireless towers in Missouri. Sho-Me is requesting approximately $147 million from the BIP and BTOP and will provide an in-kind contribution of $8.4 million. The state of Missouri will provide matching funds in the form of a $25.2 million cash contribution to purchase multi-purpose optical and routing equipment to serve the needs of the state and Sho-Me.
 
Over the last several months, MOREnet has worked closely with the governor’s Transform Missouri team to develop the MoBroadbandNow project, providing technical consulting on the concept and approach that will enable long-term benefits to the state as a whole, including MOREnet members. MOREnet is excited about the opportunities this plan enables, opportunities that will help meet the ever-increasing bandwidth needs of our members and further our goal of lowering the cost to connect member sites.
 
Sho-Me’s proposed network route runs in close proximity to approximately 150 MOREnet member sites, and MOREnet will have access to dark fiber and bandwidth on the proposed network to connect these member sites to the existing MOREnet backbone. In the coming months, MOREnet will work with the state and Sho-Me to understand the exact fiber routes and how close the fiber will run to individual member institutions. From there, we will be able to project costs to connect these member sites to Sho-Me’s new fiber network.
 
For more information regarding this announcement or MOREnet and the MoBroadbandNow project, see MOREnet’s FAQ at www.more.net/missouribroadband-FAQ or contact Anissa Lockett, MOREnet Manager of Member Communications and Events at lockettab@more.net.
 
For additional information on today’s announcement from Gov. Nixon, see www.governor.mo.gov.