Omaha Public Radio News
1:52 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

FCC workshop focuses on broadband access

Omaha, NE – A public forum Wednesday in Omaha focuses on bringing broadband access to rural areas.

The FCC is holding an all-day workshop on broadband and a public forum Wednesday evening at UNO. According to the FCC, 300,000 Nebraskans don't have basic access to broadband, and it's unavailable in ten counties.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says broadband access is important to rural economies. "The evidence is clear that a small business that has broadband access can increase its revenues by reaching customers in the next town, the next city, the next state, and even in another country. Small businesses can lower their costs through services through revenue in the cloud."

Genachowski wants the Universal Service Fund reformed to pay for rural broadband access nationwide. The USF was created in 1934 to fund telephone service for all Americans. Consumers pay a Universal Service Fee on their phone bills.

The workshop begins at 10AM at UNO's Thompson Alumni Center. The public forum starts at 4:45 PM.