New broadband technology tested in rural Clinton County

  • Published: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The village of Turney in Clinton County celebrated the launch of experimental wireless broadband service Sept. 17. The pilot project is designed to test the potential of a technology called RF Over Fiber to reduce costs, expand broadband access to underserved communities and attract public and private investment.

The pilot is the work of a partnership that includes Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, United Electric Cooperative, Maximize Northwest Missouri, University of Missouri Extension and MU Extension’s Exceed regional economic development program.

“Exceed has been helping with survey development and evaluation of the project to determine the impact of improved access to internet in the community,” said Hannah McClure, program coordinator with Exceed. “We’re interested if it’ll lead to an increase in people accessing resources related to business and economic development, telehealth, and education.”

The project received a one-year, $300,000 grant through Project OVERCOME, an initiative of the technology nonprofit U.S. Ignite.

The partnership grew out of the work of the UM System Broadband Initiative, which convened in 2019 to address the lack of high-speed internet in many parts of Missouri by facilitating collaboration among the system’s four universities and with external partners.

Writer: Curt Wohleber

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