The state ranked 38th in the Speed Matters 2009 survey with an average download speed of 3.9 mbps, up from 3.0 mbps the previous year. Access to internet service in the home was reckoned to be 56% in 2007, with 45% having broadband service, although the state's own figures put the latter at 80% by 2009. Current wifi hotspots are concentrated in the north of the state plus other urban areas.
The Rural High-Speed Internet Access Task Force was set up in 2007 to establish the availability of broadband internet services and increase deployment to rural communities. By the summer of 2009, Missouri had established the MoBroadbandNow Project, a private-public partnership.
The initial aim of the partnership was to apply for federal funding, with $1.5 million being awarded from the NTIA in November 2009 for data collection and mapping plans plus a further $470,000 for planning. The mapping work is being undertaken by the University of Missouri, which will work with internet providers across the state to collect data.
Sixteen projects have been put forward for funding. The state is seeking $142.3 million in stimulus funds to lay 2,500 miles of fiber optic cable and build 200 towers to provide wireless internet access. Once this backbone is established, it will then be up to an individual internet provider to cover the connection to consumers.
The aim is to increase the availability of a high speed service to 95% of homes from the current level of 80%. A 2007 report by the Missouri Public Services Commission estimated that 1.2 million people didn't have cable or DSL broadband. However, the project has met some resistance, with more than one ISP contending they have the necessary infrastructure in place.
With a varied geography that features plains in the north and mountains to the south, Missouri has a humid continental or sub-tropical climate with cold winters and hot summers. It is bordered by eight states, as is Tennessee, with no other state touching more.
Missouri produces more lead than any other state and is normally first for lime production. In 2001, it had the second largest number of farms in any state while tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade were important. Manufacturing includes aerospace, transportation equipment and chemicals. Jefferson City is the state capital and the largest cities are Kansas City, St Louis, Springfield and Independence.
Cities in Missouri likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Independence, Columbia, Lee's Summit and O'Fallon. Locations in MO with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.