Lawmakers and residents in rural America say one of the widest divisions is digital, and calls to fix slow or nonexistent Internet service there have almost universal support among elected officials.
(TNS) — In his inaugural speech Wednesday, President
Lawmakers and residents in rural America know one of the widest divisions is digital, and calls to fix slow or nonexistent internet service there have almost universal support among elected officials.
"The pandemic has graphically exposed the shortcomings of high-speed internet in rural
Meinrath consulted with Biden's team about the issue, as he did for former Presidents
"There's no honeymoon on this," he said. "We'll know in 30 to 60 days whether the Biden team will take action. The ideas are all there. They just need to be put into action."
Biden's plan for rural America, according to his election website, calls for bringing 5G wireless coverage to every American and investing $20 billion in "rural broadband infrastructure."
"Rural Americans are over 10 times more likely than urban residents to lack quality broadband access," Biden's site said.
Meinrath said the first step for the Biden administration should be an accurate assessment of internet speeds nationwide. He and others believe
"It's a problem that can be solved with money, yes, but it will also take coordination and oversight," Sohn said.
In some parts of the country, including central
Nothing highlighted the need for broadband quite like the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept workers and students at home, and businesses shuttered.
"The pandemic has finally shown that internet is infrastructure," Iannone said. "It's as important as electricity or telephones. We'll have to wait and see if they finally treat it that way."
(c)2021 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Never miss a story with the daily Govtech Today Newsletter.