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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Nebraska State Fair Hosts Panel on Rural Internet Access


Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer gathered a prestigious roundtable of telecommunication and agriculture leaders at the Nebraska State Fair this week, Nebraska.tv reports. The commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission even paid a visit.

The topic for discussion: rural broadband access. As HPPR reported earlier this week, many rural parts of the country have struggled to get private telecomm companies to supply them with reliable internet at reasonable rates. Sarah Werner of the Nebraska Cattlemen, spoke on the panel. She said in her part of Nebraska an inch of rain can take out internet access.

Senator Fischer, who owns a ranch near Valentine, has had issues too. “It's tough when you can't download something and it's a fact of life,” she said, adding: “But it shouldn't have to be set in stone.”

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said his office is working to make changes. A recent federal ruling limiting municipal broadband efforts may hinder his cause, though.