Small Towns News

Slow internet speeds frustrating for education, business

Before moving back to the family farm outside Juniata, in Adams County, my husband and I lived in rural southwest Iowa.

When we were preparing for the move to Nebraska, it became apparent that internet access was very limited. We called more than 10 companies, and only one offered service to our location, service which ended up being of very poor quality.

Now is the time for the Legislature to step up on broadband

An overreliance on faulty data may be leaving thousands of rural Nebraska households out of the digital age. Twice per year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) collects broadband access data through Form 477 from internet service providers. This data has a host of problems and can severely overestimate broadband access.

Many Nebraskans are being left behind because of this inaccurate information. Meanwhile, state and local governments are using this information as a primary source to distribute their limited resources—something it was never intended to be used as.

Shop local this season 

This holiday season, will you be among 83 percent of consumers who plan to do some portion of their holiday shopping at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant?

These types of businesses are what keep our small communities thriving. Up and down rural main streets, shopkeepers are readying their stores for the season. They welcome shoppers from their communities and those who are just visiting. Business owners are even stocking rolls of wrapping paper to provide added value when you spend your money with a local retailer.

Are property taxes on the ballot?

Up and down the campaign trail and all across Nebraska, candidates are quick to tell you that property tax is their number one priority. It’s true for incumbents and newcomers alike. Nearly every rural or statewide contender is ensuring voters that property tax is the primary focus.

These candidates show empathy when saying times are tough. They are quick to display confidence when telling us they “know how to fix it.” Some use flashy graphs, glossy charts, and selective statistics to show they are serious.

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