By Betsy Huber & Phil Riebel
This op-ed by The National Grange and Keep Me Posted North America appeared in The Morning Consult at the following LINK.
Pundits and pedestrians have quipped that we should all be thankful a disaster with the magnitude and saturation of COVID-19 came when we are all so wonderfully connected thanks to broadband. Had this happened even 25 years ago, they observe, we would have seen our entire way of life come to a halt.
But for many rural Americans in regard to technology, most specifically broadband deployment, we are living 25 years in the past.
Realizing this, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing recently to examine ongoing Federal Communications Commission initiatives and the use of CARES Act funding to maintain and expand broadband to rural America.
The consensus of those testifying comes as no surprise – the digital divide persists, though it’s not just limited to rural households. In fact, more than a quarter of the United States does not have broadband at home.