Today, during a press conference at the Missouri State Fair hosted by the Missouri Farm Bureau, Governor Mike Parson announced plans to deploy more than $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase broadband internet access, adoption, and assistance statewide. The plan was developed through a multi-agency effort designed to address a diverse range of broadband connectivity challenges and is expected to impact hundreds of thousands of Missouri families. The plan will be presented to the Missouri General Assembly in January for appropriation. In addition to the $400 million plan, the Department of Economic Development also submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Infrastructure Program requesting an additional $56 million for broadband deployment. If approved by NTIA, this funding could support up to 19 projects, connecting more than 17,000 households, businesses, and other institutions. According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 147,000 households or almost 400,000 Missourians don’t have access to high-speed Internet (25mpbs/3mbps). The majority of those citizens reside in rural communities.