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Advancing rural broadband

Washington—Rural Idaho, spectacular beauty but undeveloped broadband, slow internet and that has slowed economic development. 

In Washington a bold plan to connect rural America to the rest of the world. The American Farm Bureau Federation is promoting ways to support and develop rural broadband.

Getting broadband in rural America is a priority for the Farm Bureau. Emily Buckman of the Farm Bureau says rural residents, along with farmers and ranchers, need equal access to high-speed broadband internet.

We’ve heard the phrase multiple times, broadband is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. And the pandemic made that even more evident as we had to shift to working remotely, children having to do homework from home, and then even having our doctor’s appointments done via telehealth. Rural broadband is essential for modern agriculture, the farmers and ranchers who grow our food and to the quality of life for rural Americans,” said Buckman.

The American Connection Project, includes Farm Bureau and is led by Land O’ Lakes, and just launched the American Connection Corps.

This is a new pilot program which will connect young leaders to their hometown and empower them to become a new class of community leaders focused on connectivity. For a period of two years, the American Connection Corps Fellows will work to increase digital access in their communities by courting local partners to access federal and state resources for broadband access, as well as delivering digital literacy to those members of the community that may not even know how to utilize broadband,” said Buckman

Rural community members can also help by using the FCC Speed Test app.

The network and coverage performance information gathered from the speed test data collected through this app will help to inform the FCC’s effort to collect more accurate and granular broadband deployment data. It's been a major effort to have FCC update their coverage map to ensure federal dollars spent on broadband deployment is accurately targeted to those communities most in need,” said Buckman.

Connecting American, bring high-speed internet to the rest of the Nation. Improving business, Ag, and opportunity, For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture, I'm Jake Putnam.