The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission is introducing a broadband delivery concept, called AquaSmart, to deliver fiber to 10 counties in North Central Missouri.
The Water Commission is responsible for building the East Locust Creek Reservoir, which will provide a water supply to Sullivan, Grundy, Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Adair, Macon, Chariton, Linn, and Livingston counties.
Water Commission General Manager Brad Scott says fiber could be run on the required right-of-ways secured for water lines and could be done concurrently with putting in the water line or after. The cost could be shared, making water distribution and broadband provision economically more viable. An added benefit is leak detection, conservation, and cost-savings for the water districts and consumers.
Broadband to water districts or AquaSmart allows for the elimination of manually reading meters, which reduces manpower requirements, fuel usage, emissions, and maintenance and stabilizes or reduces water distribution costs.
It is a priority of multiple state and federal administrations and agencies, rural associations, and rural economic development advocacy organizations to develop a rural broadband system.
Green Hills Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Randy Railsback says the Planning Commission was excited to have administered the first 10-county regional blueprint the State of Missouri completed.