Gardner works to expand broadband in rural areas

In an effort to expand high-speed Internet into rural areas of Colorado, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) recently formed a rural broadband coalition that will develop public policy and hold roundtables to glean insight from industry experts.

“High-speed Internet and broadband continue to play an increasingly larger role in education and economic growth, and those Coloradans in rural areas without access to broadband need it now more than ever,” Gardner said.

Gardner appointed 10 members to the rural broadband panel and has plans to make more appointments in the future. Panelists include county economic development staff, telecommunications professionals and local public officials.

“It is past time to deliver this essential service efficiently, and to areas that are actually in need of it,” Gardner said. “The opportunities that come with a solid broadband infrastructure are limitless when it comes to small businesses, healthcare and education, allowing growth that was not possible before.”

The FCC has also undertaken steps to rollout a National Broadband Plan and called high-speed Internet access “a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life.”

Over the last 14 years the number of Americans who have broadband in their homes has grown from 8 million to approximately 200 million. Approximately 100 million Americans don’t have broadband access at home, according to the FCC.