MILLERSBURG — Gov. Jay Nixon joined other elected officials and representatives from Socket Telecom LLC, on Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for a program that will expand Missouri's broadband accessibility.
MoBroadbandNow, which Nixon created in 2009, aims to receive loans and grants to bring more access to the state. Of the several businesses that applied to raise funds for the program, Socket Telecom was chosen to provide for rural Boone and Callaway counties and parts of Fulton.
"This is an area in the part of mid-Missouri that has been historically underserved by broadband access. With these projects around the state to get federal funding, (Socket) was a successful applicant," Scott Holste, press secretary for the governor, said. "We are happy to be partnering with them."
Holste explained that Socket Telecom was chosen to participate in the program because of its success in generating funding. Through loans and grants, Socket received $23.7 million to provide Internet, telephone and television services.
Socket Telecom will provide high-speed broadband access to rural mid-Missouri over a fiber optics network. The benefit of using this network is its speed. Most of the area uses dial-up, which is much slower, Socket marketing manager Stephanie Rosskopf said.
"Fiber optics proves to be effective in rural areas because the strength stays truer for longer distances," Rosskopf said.
The broadband's main purpose, Nixon said in a January speech, is to connect areas of Missouri with information. Socket Telecom will provide access to 2,728 homes, 269 businesses and 36 community anchors, such as libraries and law enforcement facilities, that provide for the public, stated a news release.
The project is set to be completed by 2014 and will also create jobs in Millersburg. Rosskopf explains that Socket opted to employ local contractors rather than companies from outside the state. Contracts totaling $2.7 million with mid-Missouri companies have been agreed to so far.