A study shows more than one-in-five Missouri households does not have access to high-speed communications services.

Public Service Commissioner Robert Clayton the third is one of two commissioners who has found about 1.2-million households lack access to wireline broadband services—high speed communications services available through phone companies or cable companies.

He says the need for broadband will grow as more and more services are provided or demanded .

Clayton says Missouri has a wide disparity in broadband availability. The study shows wireline broadband is available in 93 percent of the households in Missouri’s three major urban centers–St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield. But apart from those areas, the wireline broadband penetration in Missouri is only 65 percent.

Clayton says he can’t solve the problem. Neither can the PSC. He says both lack the power to order phone and cable companies to provide the service. But he hopes the information reaches the legislature, the Congress, or the FCC, agencies that can make broadband a priority so it can be made available to everybody.

He also hopes the information helps people without broadband —and not happy about it–put pressure on policymakers to expand broadband availability

Download Bob Priddy’s story (:61 mp3)