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Media Advisory: UM System broadband team unveiling roadmap for bringing high speed internet to rural Missouri


Austin Fitzgerald

What: The UM System Broadband Leadership Team, consisting of researchers and community stakeholders, will host a live public webinar introducing an actionable plan to bring affordable and accessible broadband internet to Bollinger County, Missouri. Applied to a county in which four out of five residents have no broadband access, the plan will serve as a model for a broader effort to make high speed internet more available to people in rural areas of the state.

Entitled “Bringing Broadband to a Missouri Community,” the webinar will also share information about the Missouri Broadband Resource Rail, a free, web-based resource that will assist in the expansion of broadband across a variety of industries and government services.

When: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 8

Where: The webinar will be livestreamed at

Who: Researchers and representatives from each of the four UM System universities will participate in the webinar. These include:

  1. Marshall Stewart, UM System Chief Engagement Officer/VC for MU Extension and Engagement
  2. Marc McCarty, UMKC Professor of Law and UM System Broadband Leadership Committee Chair
  3. Tony Luppino, UMKC Professor of Law and UM System Broadband Leadership Team member;  Sarah Denkler, MU Extension Regional Director – Southeast MO
  4. Lav Gupta, UMSL Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and UM System Broadband Leadership Team member; 
  5. Kent Shannon, MU Extension Agriculture Field Specialist and UM System Broadband Leadership Team member
  6. Brian Boots, UMKC Regnier Institute, Director for Venture Creation
  7. Casey Canfield, Missouri S&T Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and UM System Broadband Leadership Team member
  8. Wayne Prewitt, MU Extension Regional Director – South Central MO
  9. Ellen Belcer, Bollinger County representative
  10. Rob Williams, Program Director, UMKC SourceLink
  11. Sam Tennant, Program Coordinator, MU Extension CARES and UM System Broadband Leadership Team member                       
  12. Alison Copeland, UM System Deputy Chief Engagement Officer and UM System Broadband Leadership Team member, session moderator

Note: Bollinger County is located in southeastern Missouri, adjacent to Cape Girardeau County. It was the site of the first discovery of remains of a duck-billed dinosaur known as Hypsibema missouriensis, Missouri’s state dinosaur. The county is also home to Blue Pond, the deepest natural pond in the state.


Reviewed 2020-07-06