Omaha Think Tank Unveils Blueprint for Expanded Rural Broadband Access

Feb. 1, 2022, 2:37 p.m. ·

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Bringing greater broadband access to rural Nebraska amid an influx of federal money is the topic of a plan released Monday by an Omaha think tank.

Jim Smith is chief strategy officer for the Platte Institute and said the report outlines several suggestions including the creation of an executive-level “broadband czar” to oversee federal funding, preventing the “overbuild” of networks in small communities and making sure resources are used efficiently.

“If all goes well, and we receive all of the federal funding that has been targeted toward states for broadband deployment, and if we utilize all of the state funds that are available, we still only get halfway to the overall need of broadband deployment in our state," Smith said. "So we have to have close coordination of all funding, not just federal funding, the state funding as well, if we're really going to address all of the needs in Nebraska.”

A link to the report, A Blueprint for Better Broadband in Nebraska, can be found HERE