COVID-19 Spotlights Rural Broadband Woes
Broadband in rural areas is still not great in many places across the West. With that in mind, the Coronavirus has had an impact on agriculture in a unique way, as many rural students in agriculture areas try to find a way to work remotely as school shut down.
The government has already spent millions trying to get broadband to rural America. Nathan Zacharias, government relations liaison with the Rural Broadband Coalition says - it's a big job.
"You don't build a road overnight, and you certainly don't build a broadband network overnight either," Zacharias said.
And he says as the coronavirus has really highlighted how important a job it is.
"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."
And while temporary solutions are found for remote learning and working, the Rural Broadband Coalition hopes policymakers don't lose sight of long-term needs. Zacharias says the new coronavirus sheds light on the need to ensure all residents - including those that live on the farm - are connected when an emergency arises.