Representatives from tech giant Google will testify next month before Missouri lawmakers in Jefferson City about broadband development in Missouri.
State Rep. Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on March 9, 2020 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)
Google representatives will travel from California to testify before the Missouri House Special Interim Committee on Broadband Development on August 16. That’s a Monday. Macon-based Chariton Valley and Smithton-based Wisper Internet representatives will also testify, along with Kansas City.
The committee is chaired by State Rep. Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal), who announced at the end of the June hearing that he wanted to hear from internet providers in August. The committee is meeting monthly through December.
“The hopes (for the interim committee) are that we find basically a path forward in terms of what do we need to do legislatively to get there, what do we need to do as appropriators to get there,” Chairman Riggs told Missourinet in June.
State broadband office development director Tim Arbeiter has testified that Missouri ranks 32nd nationwide for broadband access. Mr. Arbeiter testified in June that more than 392,000 Missourians lack high-speed internet, either because it’s not available or because they can’t afford it. That number is down from 586,000 in 2018.
Chairman Riggs and Director Arbeiter say infrastructure and accountability are barriers to…