Sharp: Virtual Session Shows Problems With Rural Broadband

Both Oregon and Washington are conducting their current legislative sessions remotely because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions. And those remote efforts are highlighting, according to many in the agriculture community, the lack of rural broadband in lightly populated areas of the Northwest. Tom Sharp, President of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association says, yes, its 2021. But staying connected at his Burns-area ranch is very difficult and can be expensive.

“I have to do everything wirelessly, and I have data allocations that are limited on a monthly basis, and so it makes it even more difficult for me to access the internet and participate in a Zoom meeting.”

In addition to the loss of face-to-face conversations with lawmakers and decision makers this session, Oregon’s Ag community has also lost their commodity days at the state capitol.

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