Broadband reaching more rural Americans

Broadband continues to reach more rural areas.

Focus on Rural America founder and former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge says billions in taxpayer dollars are being distributed across the country to bring high-speed internet access to the nearly one in five rural Americans still on the wrong side of the digital divide.

“A really substantial amount of money into the projects of getting those last miles, those people without any opportunity right now to be part of this digital explosion.”

While deployment has been slow, Judge tells Brownfield she’s encouraged by the various ways broadband can be accessed.

“So while we may be thinking about dark fiber buried in the ground, that may not be the only solution. We may be able now to look at satellites and towers and other means of getting that broadband delivered to our homes.”

The federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment, or BEAD Program, is providing more than $42 billion to expand high-speed internet access.

States like Minnesota are also funding programs, and Governor Walz recently announced over $50 million in grants to expand broadband access to an estimated 8,900 homes and businesses throughout the state.

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