FCC Chair Pai to Step Down January 20

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai will step down January 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. Pai was appointed to the commission in 2012 by President Barack Obama, and made chairman by President Donald Trump in 2017. Pai used his time at the FCC focusing on rural broadband issues, among other […]

Duvall: Technology Changing The Lives Of Farmers In A Variety Of Ways

Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, the that’s very true in farm country. “We have 2,700 county farm bureaus across the country and field reps from state farm bureaus there and we worked hard with those county leaders to get used to using Zoom. I mean we actually had to have 1600 country […]

Elsey: Pandemic May Lead To Better Connectivity For Rural Washington

It’s been hard for many in the farming community to find positives about 2020. But Bre Elsey with the Washington Farm Bureau said the pandemic and subsequent shutdown has demonstrated to many in Olympia the broadband inequities that exist for rural communities across the Evergreen State. And she acknowledge while it’s difficult now, she is […]

Rural Broadband Takes Center Stage Nationally

Rural broadband needs are drawing renewed attention of lawmakers nationwide as more and more schools and colleges turn to remote learning. The Pew Research Center estimates about 15% of all households with school-age children lack high-speed internet and poor FCC mapping means the number could be higher. During a recent Ag subcommittee hearing, story after […]

WFB: Pandemic Has Shown Broadband Inequity

Whether you live in downtown Seattle or on a North Central Washington cattle ranch, COVID-19 has impacted your day to day activity. Over the past six months, face to face meetings have come to an end, meaning we’re doing more virtual communication. But for much of Washington’s Ag community, especially those that live in some […]

Rural Broadband Remains Key Issue During Coronavirus Relief Debates

Rural Broadband remains a top priority for farm-state lawmakers in any new pandemic relief package. House Ag lawmakers say expanding rural broadband is a must for business development, telemedicine, education, and agriculture. “Rural communities with particularly, Ag economies, could really start to expand their areas of focus and investment if this country would invest in […]

Local PUDs Say They Should Be Eligible For Broadband Funding

As more effort is put into connecting rural America with broadband service, local PUDs say they want to be considered for federal funding. In a joint statement released Tuesday, the leaders for the Chelan, Douglas and Grant PUDs said the COVID-19 pandemic has made very clear how vital affordable broadband is for rural customers. In […]

USDA Extends ReConnect Application Deadline to April 15

The USDA has extended the deadline for ReConnect Pilot Program applications to April 15. Deputy undersecretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced the extension Monday, saying the move is “in light of the COVID-19 National Emergency.” The extension allows rural businesses, cooperatives, and communities extra time to apply for assistance that will help bring high-speed […]

NFU Concerned About COVID19s Impact On Rural Health, Finances

As lawmakers haggled over a $2 trillion economic stimulus package to help the U.S. overcome the coronavirus pandemic, the National Farmers Union expressed concerned about the lasting mark COVID-19 will leave on rural America. The bill approved Wednesday is the most expensive in the country’s history. It includes direct payments to individual, $130 billion for […]

Wyden, Merkley Not Happy With FCC Over Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Oregon’s senators are not happy with what they see as a move to hurt efforts to expand broadband service to rural areas. On Tuesday, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden voiced their criticism after the FCC announced that rural areas that have received state-run broadband funding, or help via the USDA’s ReConnect program, were no longer […]