HURDLAND, Mo. -- The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday the results of its Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which awarded nearly $1.5 billion over 10 years to expand rural broadband service to unserved areas across 45 states.
Eleven Missouri providers were awarded a total of $254.8 million, the most of any state. One of the providers, Mark Twain Communications Co., is located in Hurdland and will receive $3,053,366.
In total, Missouri secured about 17 percent of the overall amount awarded nationwide. State legislators reacted positively to the news.
"Nearly half of rural Missourians do not have access to high-speed broadband internet, and that is a problem," Congressman Sam Graves, who represents the sixth district, said in a statement. "Being connected to high-speed broadband will improve our communities in North Missouri by giving us better access to educational resources, telehealth services, precision agriculture and additional opportunities for economic development."
Sen. Roy Blunt said access to high-speed broadband "will improve the quality of life and enhance economic opportunities."
Sen. Claire McCaskill called the announcement "an important step toward connecting rural communities throughout Missouri."