News

Midlands Voices: Bill can boost rural broadband in Nebraska communities

With strong support from the Nebraska Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and State Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth, a bill to improve broadband access in our state is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday.

Legislative Bill 996, Brandt’s priority bill for this session, is a critical step in making our state compatible with a new federal broadband expansion program. In doing so, LB 996 opens the door for a greater share of federal funds directed at financing broadband expansion in unserved areas.

Senator, rural residents voice support for bill to improve rural broadband access

Obtaining internet service for their rural Nebraska homes hasn’t been easy—or convenient—for Mike Tabbert and Chuck Karpf.

When all is said and done, Tabbert will spend more than $12,000 for the service he and his husband need to work from their home in Antelope County.

After discussions with neighbors and internet service providers, Karpf, a Center for Rural Affairs board member, was able to get service at his home in southern Sioux County.

But, it was slow.

Iowa Legislative update - Feb. 11, 2020

We are now entering the fifth full week of the 2020 legislative session. As legislators, agencies, the governor’s office, and committees have worked to introduce and review legislation, we’ve been engaging with them to make sure rural Iowans have a seat at the table. In all, we have registered for, against, or undecided on 19 bills which relate to water quality, renewable energy, economic development, and more.

As bills are introduced in the next few weeks, I will keep you informed on our lead initiatives and other key legislation we are following. For more updates and questions, or to get involved, please reply to this email or contact me at codys@cfra.org.

Nebraska Unicameral Update- Feb. 11, 2020

We have made it more than a third of the way through the “short,” 60 day session. The Legislature is tentatively scheduled to adjourn on April 23, 2020. The 482 new bills introduced during the second year of the biennium will be heard before one of 14 standing committees between now and Feb. 27.

Last week, the Center joined Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth, at a hearing on LB 996 which will create the Broadband Data Improvement Program. The Center is also keeping an eye on several other bills. 

Pages

Get The Newsletter?