On Tuesday, August 30th, the Nebraska State Fair set the scene for Senator Deb Fischer as she gathered telecommunications and agricultural leaders and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner, Mike O’Rielly to discuss the evident need for broadband expansion in rural Nebraska.
Senator Fischer began the discussion of broadband benefits on the Agriculture industry. Andy Jobman of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association explained the time and performance efficiency that would be gained through expanding broadband to rural areas, and the growing need illustrated through the daily increase in data usage at the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.
While all in attendance agreed that broadband could streamline and improve the Ag Industry, they are also aware that building broadband into under and unserved areas is quite costly and will require program funding assistance. “Nebraska is a sparse state, making population density a large factor in broadband distribution, Great Plains Communications Vice President of Strategic Policy, Ken Pfister stated. “It’s harder to extend coverage to rural areas because not as many customers live there, but we want to get it out to as many as possible.”
Senator Fischer said she thinks it will be beneficial for the whole state if different people and entities continue to work together on this issue.
“I think that’s a policy discussion and a decision has to be made on it,” Fischer said.
To read more about the roundtable event click below.
To read more about the benefits of rural broadband expansion click below.