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Maura Bennett Rural Broadband
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: April 18, 2019

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The Federal Communications Commission announced that is going to invest more than $20 billion into high-speed broadband networks across rural America during a 10 year period.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said during a Whitehouse announcement that the money would come from a yet to be created Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Funding would go to a reverse auction to service providers. Those providers will install the infrastructure providing up to gigabit-speed broadband in areas of the country most in need of connectivity.

From the recent Census of Agriculture it is clear many rural Coloradon's still don't have easy access to high speed internet services.

Bill Meyer at the Lakewood offices of the National Agricultural Statistics Services says the rate of connectivity is improving but not fast enough for a good number of folks

The FCC chair says the federal money will extend high-speed broadband to up to 4 million homes and small businesses in rural America. Pai said the next-generation networks will bring greater economic opportunity to America's heartland, including some of the great jobs building infrastructure, and they will help support future 5G technologies.

The announcement was warmly received by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. During the White House announcement Marty Smith, president elect of the N C B A , said he was happy to see the investment in infrastructure and that the emphasis on rural America.

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