Improving access to Broadband
President Trump recently met with Democratic congressional leaders to discuss the potential for advancing an infrastructure package this Congress. In addition to investments in roads, railways and air travel, the discussion included expansion of broadband access. Incorporating the deployment of highspeed, reliable broadband into any infrastructure efforts must be a priority.
Broadband investment strengthens our economy and expands opportunities for healthcare, agriculture and education. There is a need for improvement, particularly in rural areas. As a rural state, there are more challenges to providing Arkansans access to the minimum speed of wired broadband that experts agree is functional: 25 megabits per second.
In February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a draft of its 2019 Broadband Deployment Report that showed growth in broadband connectivity nationwide. Despite the positive gains, internet access in rural areas of our state continues to be insufficient to meet the needs of residents. Arkansas ranks as the 48th most connected state, according to the FCC.
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