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Mapping the Digital Divide in Rural America

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 Mapping the Digital Divide in Rural America

In general, rural America suffers from a lack of broadband access. However, not all areas do. Finding out who is on-line and who is not is the goal of a new mapping project being proposed by Washington

Everyone in agriculture agrees rural America needs better broadband access. “It touches agriculture in a big way because we use so many technologies that are available to us — being able to collect the data, and being able to move forward and being more productive. We’re able to not just be productive, but we can better protect our environment,” says American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.

Finding out who has what level of service is not an easy task. A bill in Congress would establish a mapping program to generate a picture of what areas have access and which do not. Duvall says this will help direct resources to the right areas. “It’s important to do that because they use that data to be able to take the money back to the areas that need to boost broadband,” he stated. “We need a really good picture of what the availability is so that they know how to send those monies.”

While farmers and rural areas need broadband access now, the process of making that happen continues to be frustratingly show.