Broadband would close digital divide in rural areas
To the editor:
Throughout eastern Ohio, in rural communities up and down the Ohio river, homes and businesses lack Internet access and the vital connectivity it brings. The pandemic magnified these challenges for rural communities as our country transitioned to more and more remote work and education.
Even though the vast majority of Americans have access to broadband Internet that is among the best in the world, 25 percent of rural communities lack access to broadband infrastructure. That means that just because of where someone lives, they have less access to job opportunities, education and so much more.
Fortunately, with a bipartisan infrastructure framework, we now have a historic opportunity to close the digital divide and bring broadband to every home and small business across our state and country. The infrastructure plan calls for an investment of $65 billion for broadband — a clear prioritization by the federal government to connect underserved communities.
There is broad agreement across the political spectrum that every American should have Internet access. It is now time for our members of Congress to step up and finally fix this problem that’s been plaguing rural America for too long.
John R. Morrow,