The last year has been a good one for the Missouri Broadband Now Initiative, according to the Governor and the man at its helm since January.

Governor Jay Nixon addresses attendees of the MO Broadband Now Initiative 2011 Summit.

Governor Jay Nixon says at this time last year, the Broadband Initiative had not been performing as well as he and other officials had hoped. He told the crowd at this year’s summit, “We had to re-tool our efforts. Our first round of efforts didn’t go as well as we had hoped so we re-tooled, got together and in the second round, worked out there to lead.”

Part of the re-tooling effort included bringing in a new director. Missouri Broadband Now Initiative Director Damon Porter came on board in January.

He says construction on many projects is underway now, and providers are behind some of those. “The telephone industry, cable industry; they’re making huge investments as well. We’re seeing networks go from 3G to 4G, we’re seeing fiber closer to the home and premise.”

Missouri Broadband Now Director Damon Porter discusses the last year's progress in expanding broadband in Missouri.

The Governor says the next few years will see at least 311 million dollars invested in 18 projects.

For Porter, the focus over the next year will be on building partnerships. Citizen-lead planning teams are working around the state with communities, looking for ways to improve availability of broadband services.

He urges Missourians to support the Initiative by talking to team members and one another, and following the Initiative’s Facebook and Twitter pages. He says the more citizens share their stories, the more those working under the Initiative will understand what those needs are, and the more individuals will realize the way broadband service can impact their lives.

AUDIO:  Mike Lear reports – 1:01

AUDIO: Listen to Governor Jay Nixon’s remarks to the attendees of the MO Broadband Now 2011 summit, as introduced by MO Broadband Now Director Damon Porter – 13:00