On June 21, 2011, Sho-Me Technologies, LLC began construction on the first new fiber segment of the Sho-Me MO middle-mile project. Combined with 880 miles of existing fiber, the project will deploy a total of 500 miles of new fiber to complete a 1380-mile fiber network across 30 counties in south and central Missouri. Sixty workers are diligently constructing the network to bring high-speed access to 100 community anchor institutions, including K-12 schools, community colleges, public libraries, health institutions, and various local governments. This middle-mile fiber backbone will enable distance learning and telehealth, enhance public safety applications, and expand opportunities for economic development across Missouri.
As a middle-mile project, Sho-Me MO is a part of a five-year initiative, MoBroadbandNow, launched by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon in 2009. The initiative is seeking to expand broadband accessibility to 95 percent of the total state population, a significant increase from the current projected accessibility of 80 percent. During the State Fair, Sho-Me Technologies’ Jerry Hartman presented project updates to Governor Nixon and other state legislators. The Governor also acknowledged the Sho-Me MO project is advancing his “MoBroadbandNow” initiative to expand broadband access throughout Missouri.
Sho-Me Technologies recently connected the State Fairgrounds near the city of Sedalia to the network, so the Department of Agriculture, State Fair Community College, Sedalia school district buildings, and other public safety agencies operating at the State Fairgrounds could have high-speed Internet access. Missouri’s state government has taken an active role in moving agriculture into the Internet age by educating rural farmers on how to use a variety of online tools. For example, the state is teaching farmers how to use smart energy meters to reduce utility bills through energy efficiency methods. In another class, the state is training farmers how to use broadband and GPS technologies to track weather patterns for crop irrigation. The state is also educating farmers on how to trade commodities in real time with global markets using video conferencing and YouTube instructional videos.
Once completed, the network could provide affordable and accessible broadband service for up to 260,000 households and 66,000 businesses by enabling local Internet service providers to utilize the project’s open network to extend and improve their offerings.
Last Updated: December 7, 2011