Coronavirus and Rural Broadband Concerns
The coronavirus outbreak has emphasized the need for better rural broadband connections.
RJ Karney with the American Farm Bureau says many rural areas lack quality connection. He says, this has become much more important as schools have been effected, and student need to have internet access for online classes. Some temporary solutions are being worked on for remote learning and working. Meanwhile, Karney says the coronavirus outbreak response represents a real-time case study on the need for adequate rural broadband.
Nathan Zacharias, government relations liaison at the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, said while that extra money is helpful, there still will be areas where folks will struggle to work or learn remotely during this period of restricted public gatherings.
"We're going to see more pressure and more stress with the COVID-19 outbreak," Zacharias said. "And that's putting pressure and stress on all our institutions, and it's going to show that, really, broadband is no different than some of the other basic services that people need."
Zacharias said it means some people won't be able to check or send important e-mails, in addition to missing out on video conferences.