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White House touts rural broadband expansion, but job far from finished

The Biden administration realizes there’s still a lot of work to do when it comes to rural broadband expansion.

President Biden’s Director of Strategic Engagement Will McIntee touted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for making great advancements in expanding rural broadband internet access. “We’re insuring that rural communities have critical infrastructure and services by delivering high-speed Internet to every home, farm, and business.”

Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tom Perez says investments in things like rural Internet access are vital to the sustainability of rural America, and a life or death matter in some cases including mental health care. He compared two outcomes experienced in Wisconsin saying, “The person who had high-speed Internet could do telemedicine and get the care that she needed and other person couldn’t, and it had catastrophic consequences.”

Perez says the administration doesn’t want to put in poor quality Internet but says for rural areas that are still years away from getting fiber, “That’s not good enough, and so there have been… different geographic areas have implemented different methodologies that work best for them.”

White House staffers Ali Zaidi, Tom Perez, Shailen Bhatt, and Will McIntee briefed agricultural reporters on several rural issues during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Washington Watch Wednesday afternoon.

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