Expanding Broadband Access

Connecting the 48th with a Brighter Tomorrow.

Connection is key in building a more equitable, just, and brighter tomorrow. I'm committed to helping close the digital divide in the 48th and Missouri.

Investing in Connectivity

I recognize the pressing need to bridge the digital divide in our communities. To achieve this, I'm advocating for allocating state funds to build essential broadband infrastructure in underserved areas of the 48th District. This comprehensive approach involves laying down fiberoptic cables, erecting cell towers, and enhancing wireless networks to ensure equitable, reliable, and fast internet access for all.

Collaboration for Progress

My strategy extends to forging robust partnerships between the state government and private internet service providers (ISPs). By sharing the costs of expanding broadband access, we harness the private sector's expertise and resources, ensuring a more effective, efficient, and equitable deployment of high-speed internet services to rural and underserved areas in the 48th.

Empowering Rural Expansion

I will champion providing grants and subsidies to ISPs willing to extend their services into rural areas, offsetting the substantial upfront expenses associated with infrastructure development and making it economically viable for ISPs to bridge the digital gap.

Incentives for Investment

To further incentivize broadband infrastructure expansion in rural regions, I propose offering tax incentives to companies that invest in these underserved areas, encouraging more businesses to expand access and contribute to communities' overall economic development in the 48th.

Community-Driven Solutions

I fully support the creation and eventual transfer of control to community-owned broadband cooperatives, ensuring that internet access remains affordable and accessible for all residents. Such locally-driven initiatives empower communities to take control of their connectivity, promoting inclusivity and equity while allowing local leaders to address the unique needs of their communities.

Streamlined Progress

To expedite expansion efforts, I will advocate for streamlined regulations in the permitting process for broadband infrastructure projects in Missouri. By reducing bureaucratic hurdles, we can more swiftly deliver the connectivity communities urgently need.

Broadband as a Public Utility

To underscore the importance of equitable access, I firmly believe we must classify broadband and fiber internet as essential public utilities. This designation emphasizes that all residents, regardless of geographic location, should have access to high-speed internet.

Affordability and Equity

I will champion the establishment of programs that provide payment assistance to low-income, marginalized, and underserved individuals and families, making broadband services for all residents, promoting equity, and reducing the digital divide.

Leveraging Federal Support

I am committed to exploring ongoing partnerships with federal initiatives like the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Such collaborations will provide additional funding to accomplish these vital goals without overburdening taxpayers, allowing Missouri to accelerate efforts to bridge the digital divide.