Governor Parson has announced that Chariton Valley has received $897,191 in Emergency Broadband Investment as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help provide broadband services to parts of Chariton, Linn, Macon and Marion counties.
Friday’s announcement followed Parson’s announcement Aug. 11 that 16 broadband projects from eight broadband providers will receive more than $3 million through the program and connect almost 2,000 Missouri households.
According to Parson, two of the Chariton Valley projects will help provide service to 86 residences north of Palmyra and 95 northwest of Hannibal.
“Not only do we want to teach our kids, we also want to be able to have telemedicine,” Parson said at a press conference in Macon last Wednesday.
“We want to be able to do healthcare in rural Missouri, that you have the same opportunity as anyone else does to be able to provide those services.”
“As we know, broadband has become a critical infrastructure. In our current emergency state, we have learned that we can work, go to school, shop from our homes but it requires a fast, reliable, affordable connection,” said Kirby Underberg, Chariton Valley’s chief executive officer.
“Chariton Valley’s vision is to provide premier services to enhance opportunities for rural communities, which we are doing by aggressively building fiber broadband across rural areas.”
Chariton Valley will be bringing fiber to unserved and underserved Missouri areas by delivering gigabit capable speed over a network that extends directly into homes and businesses through a dedicated connection.
“We feel fiber gives the residents of rural Missouri an opportunity to compete and thrive for many years to come, but we’re not done yet,” Underberg said. “There are many areas that still do not have service that want or need the fiber. Chariton Valley will continue to do our part in closing that gap.”
In July, six programs were created within the nearly $50 million Rapid Broadband Deployment Initiative which uses the state’s CARES Act funding. The Emergency Broadband Investment Program allocated up to $20 million, and the recent announcement highlights the first round of recipients.
The program was designed to reimburse providers that have expanded, or plan to connect, high-speed internet to residents in unserved or underserved areas in the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providers will utilize funds to assist with construction costs for new broadband expansion to households with students or vulnerable populations.
“Access to high-speed internet is absolutely necessary to families and communities during this time,” said Rob Dickson Department of Economic Development director.
“Connecting more citizens with quality internet means the individual on telework status will keep their job, a student participating in distance learning will continue to get their education, or a household in need of telehealth services will get the care they need.”
Chariton Valley Communications Corporation is receiving funding for rural broadband in the area.
Chariton Valley will extend fiber-to-the-home service with the assistance of $120,750 to connect up to 86 households north of Palmyra. The project will allow users access to 1 Gbps/ 1 Gbps service.
Chariton Valley will also extend fiber-to-the-home service with the assistance of $175,950 to connect up to 95 households northwest of Hannibal. The project will allow users access to 1 Gbps/ 1 Gbps service.