Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

$65 Billion in Infrastructure Bill to Tackle Rural Broadband

Play

Monday, December 6, 2021   

OWYHEE, Nev. -- There's a light at the end of the tunnel for rural Nevadans struggling with slow, spotty internet service as the Biden administration's infrastructure bill has allocated $65 billion for broadband improvements.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's ReConnect program just started taking applications for grants and loans to companies willing to build out networks to underserved areas.

Lynn Manning John, vice-principal of Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, said her community desperately needs better coverage and more bandwidth.

"In the building, we struggle with the internet going out regularly because the kids are on Chromebooks," Manning John explained. "And because of our location, which is a hundred miles from Elko, it sometimes takes us a day or two to get our internet back up."

She pointed out the area has only a single cell tower, and pre-pandemic 90% of families had no home-based internet service. Rural areas often lack communication infrastructure, because the customer base is too small to provide a return on a telecom company's investment.

Manning John said the future of her community, part of the Shoshone Paiute Tribe, depends on better broadband.

"It cannot be left up to the market," Manning John contended. "These kids have a need. Internet is just as essential as indoor plumbing and electricity. It needs to be provided on the scale that we do any type of public service."

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, saying it favors urban over rural and suburban areas and creates red tape.

Jenny Miller, vice president of states and industry relations with the nonprofit advocacy group Connected Nation, said the country needs to make distance learning and telemedicine available to all, and to close the digital divide.

"It's really a once-in-a-generation amount of money that is coming down the pipe," Miller emphasized. "There is a ton of political pressure to get this moving quickly. We needed this yesterday."


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021