During a State of the State address on Tuesday, Governor Pete Rickets announced the expansion of broadband across Nebraska, reported The Grand Island Independent. Ricketts is making this initiative a priority and said the state “must continue to invest in better community connectivity through broadband internet.”
During his speech, the governor addressed the Nebraska Farm Bureau, which appreciated the focus on broadband expansion since more than 80,000 Nebraska households lack broadband speeds of at least 25/3. “It’s no secret that many Nebraskans still do not have access to broadband,” he added. “The pandemic revealed how impossible work from home or remote education can be for those on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
According to Ricketts, over the last few months, the state has utilized CARES Act funds to begin connecting 176,000 households with broadband. Over the next two years, broadband will roll out to additional households, reported the Independent.
Ricketts proposed to legislators that the state invest $40 million total over the next two years to bring another 30,000 broadband connectivity. “This will move Nebraska closer to bringing broadband coverage to every corner of the state,” he said.