Social distancing may be a crucial step to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, but the lack of high-speed internet in rural areas to conduct classes, run small businesses, or practice telemedicine could have dire financial consequences if the pandemic lasts months.
Congressional leaders have reached agreement on a $2 trillion economic rescue package that would replenish the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corp. authority and earmark additional money for livestock and specialty crop producers as well as local agriculture.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai took heat from House Democrats Wednesday morning for moving ahead with a $20.4 billion broadband funding program before maps depicting coverage gaps were fixed.
Some broadband advocates and state ag groups are pressing the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Agriculture to prioritize funding for fiber deployment over 5G wireless technology when it comes to providing high speed internet in rural areas.
President Donald Trump’s election-year budget proposes $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, including $25 billion earmarked for rural America, while reprising recommendations for slashing farm programs and nutrition assistance.
Rural Americans are closer to receiving high-speed internet after the Federal Communications Commission voted to move ahead with a $20.4 billion plan to boost broadband connectivity in underserved areas.