Bridging the rural broadband divide is now vital

The pandemic exposes just how crucial it is to bridge the gap in the rural broadband divide.

A lot of people in small town America do not have access to things like Zoom and Skype because they do not have broadband. The Washington State Farm Bureau says that the internet is not a novelty anymore; it is vital to everyone’s success.

According to Bre Elsey, the Bureau’s associate director of government affairs, “When you are owning and operating your own small business and you’re trying to remain competitive on a local, or sometimes national, scale, the inability to send something as minor as a business invoice is really impactful for a small agricultural operation.”

Elsey also says that there needs to be a way to keep the public engaged when it comes to state policies. With better broadband access, residents could give testimonies and participate in hearings remotely, since most are not being held in person.