The internet is vital to our daily affairs, but many rural Missourians believe it needs big improvement. The speeds are too slow, connections too expensive, and sometimes access is not even available. The reason? Missouri currently ranks a low 39th among states for internet coverage, speed and affordable access. A majority of counties have 15% of their population without internet access at all; in rural areas it’s even worse. The Missouri Farm Bureau has prodded the Missouri Legislature for increased rural internet investments, so why does the bureau keep backing GOP lawmakers for office who refuse to do anything about it?
But there is a way around them. Democrats in Congress passed a bill creating the Affordable Connectivity Program, which takes $30 per month off the internet bills of eligible households. The Biden administration got commitments from 20 leading internet providers to offer households a high-speed internet plan for no more than $30 per month. Eligible families who pair their benefit with one of these plans can receive high-speed internet at no cost.
Dianne Kasten • Mehlville