Great Plains Communications was honored to join Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr as he visited Fremont and the North Bend area yesterday as part of his Great Plains Tour. Visiting Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota, Carr has traveled from Washington DC to view and discuss the need for broadband throughout rural America. “The trip will focus on rural broadband deployment, including the opportunities it creates in small agriculture, telehealth, job creation and workforce development,” the FCC stated in a media advisory.
Roxie Kracl, Owner of LA Fire Proof Door Co. in Fremont, NE
Closing out the Nebraska leg of his trip, Great Plains Communications joined Carr in visiting with Mayor Scott Getzshman of Fremont, NE while also making stops at the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce and L.A. Fire Proof Door Co. to discuss broadband throughout the city and the effect it has had on the local economy.
After Fremont, we headed to Ruzicka Farms, a 115-year old family-owned North Bend, Nebraska business with Carr to look at how broadband deployment has allowed them to implement Smart Ag applications into their business. Elements of Smart Ag include on-field sensing technologies, data tracking, smart irrigation, tractor hardware and software, drone data capture, and various mobile applications which help decrease labor time and costs while increasing farm yield and profits.
We would like to thank Ruzicka Farms and our Fremont customers and business partners who met with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to discuss the benefits of broadband: Scott Getzschman, Fremont Mayor; Tara Lea, Executive Director, Fremont Chamber of Commerce; and Roxie Kracl, Owner, LA Fire Proof Door Co.
Sen Deb Fischer of Nebraska held a roundtable on rural broadband access at the Nebraska State Fair Monday, August 30. (Image courtesy of Sen Fischer)
On Tuesday, August 30th, the Nebraska State Fair set the scene for Senator Deb Fischer as she gathered telecommunications and agricultural leaders and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner, Mike O’Rielly to discuss the evident need for broadband expansion in rural Nebraska.
Senator Fischer began the discussion of broadband benefits on the Agriculture industry. Andy Jobman of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association explained the time and performance efficiency that would be gained through expanding broadband to rural areas, and the growing need illustrated through the daily increase in data usage at the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.
While all in attendance agreed that broadband could streamline and improve the Ag Industry, they are also aware that building broadband into under and unserved areas is quite costly and will require program funding assistance. “Nebraska is a sparse state, making population density a large factor in broadband distribution, Great Plains Communications Vice President of Strategic Policy, Ken Pfister stated. “It’s harder to extend coverage to rural areas because not as many customers live there, but we want to get it out to as many as possible.”
Senator Fischer said she thinks it will be beneficial for the whole state if different people and entities continue to work together on this issue.
“I think that’s a policy discussion and a decision has to be made on it,” Fischer said.
To read more about the roundtable event click below.
To read more about the benefits of rural broadband expansion click below.