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David Sparks Ph.d Rural Disadvantage
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: May 23, 2019

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As you know we have done a number of stories concerning the lack of broadband presence in rural communities. But what if I were to tell you that kids in rural settings are being robbed of a proper education. No one can speak to that more relevantly then congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River). Continuing his efforts to improve broadband expansion across America, Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) said there is much more that needs to be done to connect rural Oregon. "We need to build out more broadband to more places in America. Period. Hard stop. We should all be for that. Last Congress we worked together in a bipartisan way to get that done and there's more work to be done," said Walden at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday. "I've done 20 town halls this year, more than any other member in the House. One of them was out in Spray, Oregon, which has a population of 150," said Walden. "They use a booster to keep the signal going while you're in town, which is one block, but the educators said that when their students get away from that they don't have connection when they go home. This county has one person for every nine miles of power line, so this is remote, and we need to look at alternative platforms that work to get into these areas."

Under Walden's leadership, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the RAY BAUM'S Act, which reauthorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the first time in more than two decades and provides new tools to support broadband expansion. This measure aims to speed deployment of next generation broadband across the country, which is particularly important for rural communities in Oregon.

So city kids get all kinds of technical input and advantages via broadband while kids in tiny little towns are left scratching their heads.

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