Yet, Senator Lynne Walz of Fremont questions whether more study is needed.
“What good is a study if we don’t look at the study and take its recommendations?” Walz asks her colleagues. “We don’t need another study. We need to take action. The evidence is in front of us.”
Walz says no fewer than nine studies of expanding broadband service to rural Nebraska have been undertaken since 2006. Walz has sponsored a bill to create a public-private partnership to bring high-speed Internet to rural Nebraska, but it is stuck in committee.
It is estimated approximately 55,000 Nebraskans have no access to a wire Internet provider, with 70% of those Nebraskans living outside Omaha and Lincoln.
Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson defends LB 994.
“We will continue to look at this I think as the importance of this to rural Nebraska and to the other parts of this state that need to have some economic expansion happening,” Friesen tells colleagues. “I think this is an important part of that so they have access to high-speech rural broadband.”
Few days remain for the bill to clear two more votes.