President Trump recently signed an executive order and presidential memorandum meant to help speed up the expansion of broadband (high-speed internet) in rural communities. The two actions remove some of the barriers that stand in the way of expansion.
“It’s a big statement from this administration to let the country know where rural America is in their priority,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman and CEO of Connected Nation, a nonprofit working to close the Digital Divide. “It [broadband expansion] is one of the few items that enjoys sweeping bipartisan support, so I’m really excited about where this is going.”
RFD-TV, a broadcast group that focuses on rural affairs issues across the country, invited Ferree onto the newscast to discuss what these actions mean for rural America and why it’s so important to connect more Americans who live in small towns and on our nation’s farms and ranches.
“It’s a game changer,” Ferree said. “In many urban settings lack of connectivity can be an inconvenience, but in rural America for too long it’s been holding back a number of communities . . . think about farmers—increasing crop yield, helping manage the farm operation better, and job creation. One of the things the Rural Prosperity Task Force took up was the recognition on the emphasis on the workforce. You know, a lot of those things don’t happen without access.”
The Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force released its findings and recommendations on the same day the President signed the executive order to expedite broadband expansion.
Watch Tom Ferree’s full interview below or by clicking here and learn how Connected Nation’s broadband mapping efforts and experience working within public-private partnerships is helping to close the Digital Divide.
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