Senator Klobuchar on broadband upgrades and infrastructure bill

Alexandria Echo Press posts a commentary from Senator Klobuchar on the Infrastructure bill…

But this month, with the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we addressed these urgent needs by investing in our nation’s infrastructure. With 19 of my Republican Senate colleagues — including our neighbors Senators Hoeven and Cramer of North Dakota — we finally came together across party lines to pass a bill to fix our crumbling infrastructure and expand broadband access to every corner of Minnesota.

And more…

This is all important, but competing in the 21st century isn’t just about roads, bridges, and ports — it’s also about making sure all Americans can access the internet, no matter their zip code. As co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, I fought to strengthen our broadband infrastructure to make it possible for families across the country to study, work, and connect with loved ones online.

This is especially significant in rural Minnesota, where an estimated 16 percent of households lack broadband at baseline speeds. Because of this federal funding, the high school student in Otter Tail County will no longer need to drive 40 minutes from home to a liquor store parking lot to find adequate wi-fi to take her online biology quizzes. It will also enable doctors in rural areas to provide telehealth services to patients who don’t otherwise have access to quality, affordable care.

As more of our farmers and ranchers get reliable broadband, they will be able to take advantage of precision technology that can monitor field conditions like soil health and crop growth and log weather. Increased access to high-speed internet will also make it possible for tractors with wireless connections to send real-time data back to farms, helping farmers control pests and manage runoff. This not only supports our local farms but also protects our nation’s food supply.

This entry was posted in Funding, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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