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Groups Launch Broadband Connects America Coalition to End Rural Digital Divide

Public Knowledge joined 17 other organizations to form the Broadband Connects America coalition. The Coalition is comprised of a wide range of consumer, rural, and social justice organizations committed to closing the digital divide. Coinciding with today’s launch, Broadband Connects America released the Principles to Connect Rural America -- five principles to serve as a foundation for policymakers and advocates to promote policies that work to bring broadband to millions of rural Americans.

By Gluing Fiber to the Ground, Startup Thinks It Can Slash Broadband Installation Costs for Local Government

If a city puts its fiber cables underground, it has to close down traffic, pay the cost of digging equipment and endure the risk of unexpected obstacles like a hidden sheet of rock. If it decides to string up the fiber along utility poles, it has a lot of legal maneuvering, negotiations and paperwork ahead of it to secure permission — before it signs on to pay a leasing fee that never goes away. In Stillwater, Okla., and Fauquier County, Va., people are trying a third option.

Michigan governor announces broadband Internet for entire state

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has announced a plan to bring broadband Internet to every residence and business throughout his state. The state will coordinate with Connect Michigan, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Connected Nation, to implement the plan to connect nearly 40,000 households that don't have high-speed Internet.The plan calls for Internet at a speed of 1 gigabit per second to all homes and businesses by 2026."As technology continues to rapidly change and evolve, having access to fast, reliable internet is now a necessity for everyday life," Snyder said in a statement.

Rural Broadband’s Only Hope: Thinking Outside the Box?

The American landscape of broadband in rural areas is spotty at best. It is a picture covered with splotches of color. Some maps are covered with red indicating there is no service; and other maps are covered in blue where access can be found. In states like North and South Dakota, officials have done their best to give their populace fiber to the home.Then there are areas where the state government has worked hard to provide grants and a flexible network of private and local not-for-profit organizations to build out coverage slowly.

Vets warn of disease threat to UK pets from overseas rescue dogs

Well-meaning animal lovers who import rescue dogs from abroad are risking the health of millions of UK pets, vets are warning. The British Veterinary Association is urging prospective owners to safeguard the country’s dog population by rehoming dogs from within the UK instead. Nine out of ten vets are “concerned” by the growing numbers of rescue dogs from abroad, according to figures from the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary profession survey. Three quarters of the country’s pet specialists claim the numbers have increased over the last year, it reveals.
 

Wisconsin’s catastrophic flooding is a glimpse of the Midwest’s drenched future

An entire summer’s worth of rain has fallen across a broad swath of the Midwest in recent days. The resulting record floods have wrecked homes and altered the paths of rivers, in one case destroying a waterfall in Minnesota. The worst-affected region, southwest Wisconsin, has received more than 20 inches of rain in 15 days– more than it usually gets in six months.Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin declared a statewide emergency last week, mobilizing the Wisconsin National Guard to assist flood victims if necessary.

At N.H. Border Checkpoints, Immigration, Drug Policy and Politics Collide

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been running checkpoints in New Hampshire more frequently under the Trump administration, setting up on Interstate 93 near the small towns of Woodstock and Lincoln. The stated goal of these stops is enforcing immigration law, and to that end, they have been fairly successful. Agents have arrested more than 50 people over the past two years who they determined to be in the country illegally.

Millennials put pets first when buying a home

A full 73 percent of millennials currently own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. A whopping 89 percent of millennials who bought a home so far this year own a pet, according to Realtor.com.For this demographic, 79 percent of pet-owning homebuyers who closed on a property this year said they would pass up an otherwise perfect home if it didn't meet the needs of their pets, according to a Realtor.com survey.

Closing the digital and economic divides in rural America

These experiences of rural Americans highlight the need for expanded universal service programs, like the Lifeline program, that provide discounted communications services to eligible, low-income populations. The program was established by the FCC during the Reagan administration in 1985, but recent efforts by the agency to apply stricter scrutiny on eligibility criteria and to limit the program benefits will greatly affect the Mulgrave family and so many others like them who struggle to maintain this required service.

Economic Returns to Rural Infrastructure Investments

Farm Foundation has released six papers commissioned to examine specific issues critical to rural infrastructure development. Understanding the economic returns on investing in rural infrastructure improvements is a critical element in the decision-making process for public and private investors. “As the nation addresses rural infrastructure needs, it is vital that public and private decision makers have the best information possible on the economic and social returns of their investments,” says Farm Foundation President Constance Cullman.

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