WSJ – Rural America Is Stranded In The Dial-Up Age

Expanding rural broadband connections is a priority for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who views expansion of this critical digital infrastructure to be a vital step to integrating far flung regions of the country with the modern economy.

‘CALEDONIA, Mo.— Jeanne Wilson Johnson raises sheep and angora goats, and to sell the wool and mohair online she drives 4 miles to the parking lot of Roy’s gas station, the closest spot for decent internet access.

At her 420-acre farm, Ms. Johnson pays $170 a month for a satellite internet service too slow to upload photos, much less conduct business.

As in many rural communities, broadband here lags behind in both speed and available connections. Federal data shows only a fraction of Washington County’s 25,000 residents, including Ms. Johnson, have internet service fast enough to stream videos or access the cloud, activities that residents 80 miles away in St. Louis take for granted.’

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