(St. Francois County, MO) Over 40 million dollars will be used for local broadband projects after the Department of Economic Development (DED) awarded a total of $261 million through the ARPA Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program to 60 recipients for projects that will expand and improve internet access across Missouri. Projects receiving funds are expected to create more than 55,000 connections in locations that previously lacked adequate internet access. Nearly $14,000 will go to Aptitude Internet LLC to serve Jefferson, Saint Francois, and Sainte Genevieve counties. Almost $12,000 will be given to Spectrum Mid America, LLC, Charter Communications, Inc. to serve Jefferson and Washington counties and Steelville Telephone Exchange will service Iron, Crawford, Washington, and Dent counties with almost $10,000. The program awarded competitive grants to a wide range of applicants, including traditional internet providers as well as electric and telephone cooperatives. The program prioritized unserved and underserved areas. Funds will be used to build new connections that will deliver symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps upload / 100 Mbps download or greater.