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Latta: Improved Broadband Access Critical to America’s Rural Communities

Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), Co-Chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus, raised the importance of expanding access to high-speed Internet for rural communities at a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. The E&C Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing was entitled “Realizing the Benefits of Rural Broadband: Challenges and Solutions” and examined the efforts of the Subcommittee to promote rural broadband and discussed additional steps that may be taken to further close the ‘Digital Divide.’ Latta highlighted his legislation, the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act, which was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week.

Latta said, “As a Co-Chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus and Co-Chair of the Rural Telecommunications Working Group, we believe that it’s absolutely important that we get broadband out to the rural areas of our country. It’s not only on the ag side, but from the testimony we’ve heard from the other witnesses, you can’t operate a business, you can’t operate a hospital, if you don’t have that technology. It’s absolutely important that we have that.” 

Latta then asked witness John May, President of Ag Solutions and Chief Information Officer for Deere and Company, about broadband needs when it comes to precision agriculture and if those needs are being met. May answered that high-speed connectivity is essential to utilize cutting-edge technology and many rural communities lack access to the broadband necessary to use this innovation. May stated in his opening statement that the company believes the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act is an important first step and encouraged its passage this Congress.

Video of Latta’s questions is available here



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