CenturyLink brings broadband access to rural Missouri

CenturyLink has announced plans to bring high-speed internet service to more than 158,000 rural households and businesses in Missouri.

The rural roll out is aided by the second phase of the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund project.

The rural internet expansion will bring speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload to these households and businesses.

“We’re pleased to help bridge the urban-rural digital divide by bringing high-speed broadband to more than 158,000 households and businesses in high-cost markets in Missouri,” said Duane Ring, CenturyLink senior vice president of global field operations.

Missouri state Sen. Mike Cunningham praised the expansion.

“I’m happy to hear CenturyLink and the FCC will bring faster internet to rural areas,” said Cunningham, a Republican from Marshfield. “One of the major concerns brought to my attention as I traveled throughout the district, is the need for high speed internet service. School children, health care practitioners, business owners, and families in rural areas all have reason to celebrate the announcement that CenturyLink is accepting the FCC’s Connect America Funds to bring high speed internet to more high cost areas of the state.”

Nationwide, the company hopes to use the Connect America Fund to bring broadband access to approximately 1.2 million locations in FCC-designated, high-cost census blocks. The company is accepting a total of approximately $500 million a year for six years.

The FCC created the Connect America Fund program in 2011 to facilitate high-speed Internet access in high-cost locations by transitioning Universal Service Fund money that was supporting rural landline service to the build-out of broadband infrastructure in rural communities.

CenturyLink previously accepted approximately $75 million during earlier phases of the Connect America Fund program. This one-time support brought broadband with 4 Mbps download speed to nearly 114,000 unserved rural locations.

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