Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Regional broadband meeting planned June 9 in Rolla to gather information for state plan

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Anne Freand or Bonnie Prigge

ST. JAMES— Missouri’s Department of Economic Development’s Office of Broadband Development (OBD) and the University of Missouri Extension, will host Connecting All Missourians regional listening session on the topic of broadband from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on June 9 at the Centre in Rolla, 1200 Holloway St. 

The main purpose of the regional listening session is to hear updates from a diverse range of broadband stakeholders in the region and around the state. Stakeholder input is crucial to the work of the OBD as they continue to develop the state’s broadband plan and future broadband funding programs. The goal of this campaign is to identify broadband challenges and barriers while identifying resources that can further the mission of Connecting All Missourians. 

Feedback received from stakeholders at the event will continue to guide the creation of a five-year infrastructure plan and Missouri’s Digital Equity Plan and will shape the development of broadband infrastructure in Missouri. 

The meeting will be held in person, with a virtual option available for those who are unable to attend in-person. Registration is requested to ensure enough seating. To reserve your spot, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/connecting-all-missourians-regional-meeting-rolla-tickets-616113922327. Walk-ins are welcome, although registration is preferred. If you have issues with Eventbrite registration, please contact Linda Carroll at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) at lcarroll@meramecregion.org or call 573-265-2993. 

“This is an important meeting, and we hope to have broad representation from our eight-county area,” said Bonnie Prigge, MRPC’s Executive Director. “We need business owners, non-profits, schools, libraries, local governments and elected officials, as well as internet service providers, cooperatives and area residents who need better broadband service.”

The Connecting All Missourians programs – funded through the Federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act (DEA) – represent an unprecedented opportunity to connect unserved and underserved Missourians. These programs will fund lasting investments in broadband infrastructure and digital inclusion programs to make sure Missourians can make full use of the internet once they get it. Connecting All Missourians aims to ensure that every Missourian has access to the internet, an internet-capable device, and the knowledge/skills necessary to take full advantage of the opportunities that broadband provides.

MRPC is assisting the OBD with outreach and community engagement in the Meramec Region. 

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 33 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.