Joplin city council gets an update on how APRA funding could help increase internet connectivity

The marketplace for high-speed internet in and around Joplin is limited, with just a few significant players dominating. American Rescue Plan grants could help the situation; as KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro tell us, the Joplin City Council got a progress report Monday night.

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Access to high-speed internet was a high priority for many Americans before the pandemic. Today it’s practically a requirement, like clean water, electricity, and a place to live, as so much of what we do daily depends on being online.

Despite its importance in rural parts of the US, there remains limited availability of high-speed providers, which drives the cost of internet up and makes it unaffordable for many low and middle-income residents. Aided by ARPA funding, the city of Joplin is investing in making high-speed internet more widely available. Mayor Pro Tem Kenan Cortez, speaking Monday, was encouraged by the future of internet connectivity in Joplin.

“I could see potentially infrastructure being in place. And there being two or three, many four or five ISPs battling for the customer and potentially driving down the cost. And making it affordable for low-income families and middle-income families to get able to get what they feel is best for their families.”

Construction on new internet infrastructure is expected to begin next year. For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

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