In Nebraska, internet speeds that qualify as broadband are available to 5 percent or fewer residents in 18 of the state’s 93 counties, with the problem mostly focused in rural communities, according to the Center for Rural Affairs.
Policy Director Johnathan Hladik with the center says that’s a problem for Nebraska’s many rural towns, many of which will need broadband to develop economically.
“We know as agriculture changes, as manufacturing changes, consistently we see micro-entrepreneurs and small business creation as being a key element to employment ans strong economies in rural areas,” says Hladik. “And frankly, today having broadband and high-speed internet it essential for a successful business.”
Hladik says a large reason for the gaps in coverage is due to the state relying on incorrect data that grossly overestimates the number of households with broadband access. He says the center will push legislation next session that will seek to ensure better coverage for rural communities.