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Better Broadband Maps: The First Step to Bridging the Digital Divide

Washington, DC - Connected Nation's Board of Directors recently came together in Washington, D.C. to discuss progress made and what still needs to be done to connect more communities to broadband (high-speed internet).

The technology provides access to resources and opportunities that include better healthcare, educational opportunities, job training and placement, government services, and so much more. RFD-TV, a broadcast group that focuses on rural affairs issues across the country, talked with Connected Nation's Chairman and CEO, Tom Ferree, about what lawmakers are doing to help more families and communities.

"Right now, there is an effort afoot, federally, to start to get broadband out into rural communities," he said. "There have been many Congresses in the past that have done a lot of talking. This Congress we're very inspired by because they seem to want to take some action about that. They have made provision to get billions of dollars per year to help solve this problem, but one of the first things we need to do is be sure where those investments need to flow."

That's why Connected Nation has long advocated for improve broadband availability maps. Coverage is currently indicated at the census block level which does not always accurately reflect who truly has access and who does not.

"[Improving the maps] is an important component because we want to make sure where we steer those dollars has the most impact," Ferree explained. "So, we're very inspired by what we're seeing out of this Congress to work with the Federal Communications Commission to require more accurate depictions of where those gaps really are so those dollars can really make a difference."

Watch the full video to learn more and find out why Ferree believes expanding broadband access can help lower the high unemployment numbers among that nation's military spouses and veterans.