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Bill aims to improve broadband access in rural areas

Legislative Bill 996 aims to improve broadband access in rural and underserved areas
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A new report shows Nebraska’s rural areas are struggling with a shortage of high-speed internet.

The state’s rural broadband task force said just 63 percent of rural Nebraskans have access to fixed high-speed broadband service.

Last week Governor Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 996 (LB 996) that will provide a greater share of federal funds directed at expanding broadband in rural and underserved areas in the state.

“People want to live in rural communities, people want to live in small towns, they want to raise their kids there and if you can work remotely then you are going to go the state that provides that opportunity,” said Center for Rural Affairs Policy Director Johnathan Hladik. “If it’s Kansas you are going to go there. If it’s Iowa you are going to go there. You’re not going to come to Nebraska if you can’t do that.”

The bill passed on a 47-0 vote.

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