Coronavirus Emphasizes Challenges for Rural Communities
“Broadband is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity for farmers, for ranchers, for rural communities" said Karney. "Rural Americans rely on broadband for distance learning, they rely on broadband for telemedicine. We’ve seen a drastic decline in primary care physicians throughout rural America, so the high-speed connection that broadband provides is a quality of life standard for Rural America.”
Karney says a recent bill passed by the House and Senate will better direct funds to improve rural broadband.
“Earlier this week, the Senate passed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act" said Karney. "This bill would improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps and better direct federal funds for broadband buildout by creating more granular, transparent accountability within broadband access maps.”
Karney says the coronavirus outbreak response represents a real-time case study on the need for adequate rural broadband.
“We’re seeing more and more schools begin to shutter their doors and relying on internet access to continue to teach the students" said Karney. "Unfortunately for rural students who do not have access, these are severe limitations for them to continue their education. Farm Bureau remains focused on working with members of Congress and this administration to achieve the needs of rural America when it comes to broadband deployment.”