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Rick Worthington Working on Rural Broadband
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: November 08, 2018

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Reliable and affordable high-speed internet e-Connectivity, or electronic connectivity, is fundamental for economic activity throughout the US.

Access to high-speed internet is vital for a diverse set of industries, including agricultural production.

Unfortunately, 80 percent of the 24 million American households that do not have reliable, affordable high-speed internet are in rural areas, according to a recent report by the Federal Communications Commission.

The Trump administration has been making an effort to change that. Missouri Ag Director Chris Chinn recently told the American Farm Bureau about her meeting with the President on the issue.

"This administration has really brought light to one of the biggest challenges that we face in rural America today, and that is access to high-speed broadband that’s affordable. If it’s there, it’s out of reach for families to be able to afford it to bring it back home to that family farm."

And she says, cellphone coverage is part of the overall problem. Thats becasue cellphones require broadband access, and thats one of the things really lacking in rural parts of the nation.

"Even having the access to a cellphone that works on every part of your farm is a challenge. So much information is out there for farmers today, manuals for equipment, repair parts, everything is out on the web. But, if you can’t access it to get that information, it makes your job that much harder."

She says the Trump administration is helping to connect rural Americans in her home state and across the nation.

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