According to a guest column by Senator Klobuchar in the Albert Lea Tribune…
Looking ahead, I want to keep an emphasis on improving our rural development programs, including grants for businesses and housing and water and especially broadband infrastructure.
Expanding access to high-speed internet is one of the best investments we can make. With just a percentage point increase in new broadband distribution, employment expands by 300,000 jobs. Still, more than 50 percent of households in Minnesota townships lack broadband access.
In Marshall, we heard stories about Minnesotans being left to cope without a high-speed connection. Take Nathan Green, who recalled his hopes of moving with his wife, Laura, and daughter to their family farm. That dream ended when they realized there was no broadband access at the farm. Laura telecommutes for work, and their daughter’s education will depend on a high-speed connection — without broadband, the move was a nonstarter.
That’s unacceptable. We can do right by our rural communities by seizing the opportunity to expand broadband access through the farm bill’s rural development title.