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Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon is among nearly three dozen members on the national task force.
SBJ file photo
Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon is among nearly three dozen members on the national task force.

Dixon appointed to national broadband task force

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Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon was appointed to a national broadband task force by the National Association of Counties.

Dixon is among nearly three dozen county government officials selected to study the lack of reliable broadband in underserved areas and work to find solutions for bridging internet service gaps, according to a news release.

“Access to rural broadband service is a challenge both nationally and in southwest Missouri,” Dixon said in the release. “Rural Greene County must be able to compete on a level playing field with our major metro areas."

NACo, an advocacy organization for county municipalities, earlier this year released a report that found 65% of U.S. counties have internet speeds that are slower than the minimum standards set by the Federal Communications Commission. In rural counties, that percentage grows to 77%.

On the federal level, the expansion of rural broadband service has been a priority in recent years.

Nixa-based Total Highspeed LLC last month received nearly $50 million in government funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install a fiber-to-the-premises network that would connect 417 businesses, five public schools, 720 farms and more than 26,000 people to high-speed broadband internet in Christian, Greene, Lawrence, Stone and Webster counties.

Other local internet expansion efforts include City Utilities of Springfield’s $120 million fiber optic network in partnership with CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL).

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