Broadband is critical for Farm Bureau members
Broadband continues to be a top priority for Farm Bureau members.
R.J. Karney, director of congressional relations with American Farm Bureau Federation, says broadband is a necessity for rural communities.
A new version of a bill that is intended to improve broadband maps has passed the House. The bill will go back to the Senate where it’s expected to pass before going to President Trump’s desk.
“This bill will provide more granular, transparent data and will also allow end users to challenge the maps so if they can prove they don’t have access it will allow them to challenge the FCC’s maps,” he says. “This is one area American Farm Bureau has been very focused on and we’re excited and hopeful the senate will be able to pass that, and it will be signed into law.”
Karney describes the challenges with the current broadband maps…
“The way the FCC currently gathers data is internet service providers use census blocks to determine areas of coverage,” he says. “Well, if one entity has broadband connectivity and no other entity in the entire census block has it the FCC considers that census block 100 percent covered. Well census blocks are disproportionately larger in rural America then more urban and suburban communities.”
Karney says broadband is critical to quality of life. He says American Farm Bureau is focused on ensuring that students have access to broadband and aren’t reliant on local fast food restaurants to be able to do their homework. He says AFBF is also focused on precision agriculture and grower’s ability to have connectivity on the farm.
Audio: RJ Karney, American Farm Bureau Federation