ARKANSAS (KFSM) – According to recent surveys, Arkansas is ranked as one of the lowest states in the nation, when it comes to broadband internet availability.
“Right now, Arkansas, in some surveys, is 50th in the country for broadband deployment,” said Stephen Meeks, a state representative.
Meeks is one of the state elected officials who is making a push for the state to expand its broadband bandwidth.
“It has become an essential part of our lives these days,” Meeks said.
The FCC defines broadband as 25 megabit downloads per second.
Meeks said 59% of Arkansans do not have access to broadband internet services.
Meeks, and others, are working together to try and aid internet providers with their efforts to expand internet services.
“This is a state wide issue, that we are hoping to try and improve on,” Meeks said. “This is not just a rural problem. We are also having issues with this in some of the urban areas. it plays a major factor in not only growing our local businesses. But, if we are going to recruit businesses from outside the state, which is one thing they will ask for. Is there broadband available? If you are going to do business these days, you have to have access to the internet.”
AT&T announced plans to expand their internet services in Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith, and Little Rock by the end of 2016.