GAO: Broadband Benchmark Speeds May be too Slow

A new report from the Government Accountability Office is encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to evaluate benchmark broadband speeds. The report states, “We recommended that the FCC determine whether its current definition of broadband really meets the needs of small businesses.” Currently, the benchmark speeds for broadband are 25 megabits per second download, and three […]

Interagency Agreement to Coordinate Broadband Funding Deployment

Late last week, the Department of Agriculture and other Federal Agencies announced an interagency agreement to coordinate the distribution of broadband deployment funds. USDA, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration signed the agreement. Each federal agency partner agrees to share information about existing or planned projects that receive funding from […]

Biden Administration Released New Broadband Coverage Map

A new broadband mapping tool released by the White House last week shows the need for rural broadband. The Indicators of Broadband Need Map indicates areas of need by marking them red. The tool unsurprisingly marks much of the U.S. land area, particularly rural areas, as in need of broadband. Except for city-centers, states like […]

Bill Would Give USDA Authority over Rural Broadband

Last week, House lawmakers introduced the Broadband for Rural America Act. The legislation would put the Department of Agriculture in the driver’s seat for rural broadband rather than the Federal Communications Commission. Georgia Republican Representative Austin Scott mentioned last week, “The FCC’s had their chance, and they haven’t gotten it done.” The bill is one […]

FCC Continues To Work On Rural Broadband Picture

The FCC is working on putting together an accurate picture of the broadband shortages in rural America. The agency says it needs some help with data collection, and they’re turning to the residents of rural America. “We have an app that can be downloaded on consumer mobile devices, they are for iPhones or Android devices […]

Little Signs Bill To Improve Internet Connectivity

In an effort to connect more of Idaho to the Internet, Governor Brad Little recently signed Senate Bill 1199 into law. The legislation directs $45 million toward new investments in connectivity for underserved areas. This is in addition to the nearly $50 million made available for broadband investments last year. Supporters of the legislation say […]

Brown Calls On Lawmakers To Provide More Funding To Expand Broadband Access

Last week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown went before the Joint Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development, urging lawmakers to support her call for investments to expand broadband access statewide. Brown has proposed an $118 million investment, with a focus on providing broadband access to underserved communities that, she says, have been disproportionately impacted during the […]

Robinson: Many Americans Lack Needed On-line Skills

The push is on to get every business and home in rural America connected to the Internet with high speed broadband. However, according to Vickie Robinson, General Manager of Microsoft’s Global Airband Initiative, connectivity alone is not enough to bring people online. She recently told House Ag leaders, for many people, impediments to be able to […]

Several Ag Related Projects Included In Washington Capital Budget

Over the weekend, Washington lawmakers approved a two-year state capital budget, House Bill 1080. Several farm focused projects across the state will get funding in the upcoming biennium, including: $4.2 million for Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District $300,000 for the Selah-Moxee Irrigation District $235,000 for the Yakima Valley Fair in Grandview $5 Million in Funding for […]

Work Continues To Map Broadband Needs

Estimates vary on what it will cost to bring high speed Internet access to every home in rural America. Vickie Robinson with Microsoft Global Airband Initiative, recently told a House Ag Committee it could cost between $60-$80 billion to fill the many gaps that exist in broadband service. “I submit, however, that it’s hard to […]