High-Speed Broadband Expansion Planned For Rural Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — We use technology and internet every day, but those who live farther out from the city may not always have easy access to it.

That could change as Senator Tom Cotton and the Federal Communications Commission Chairman explained at an announcement in Little Rock Friday, April 6. They want everyone to have access to high speed broadband services.

The FCC’s goal to expand high speed broadband service to rural areas of the country and across Arkansas.

“To make sure we have truly universal service. Just like we did in the last century with electricity and clean drinking water, it’s a vital part in the way we live today,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to make this possible by using a yearly $10 billion universal service fund that comes from consumers phone bills. He wants to use the money to serve the under-served parts of the country.

“To me, there’s no more important issue than closing the digital divide; the gap between those who have access to internet and those who don’t,” said Pai.

Companies like Windstream are already expanding into rural areas.

“We’re either attaching that fiber to telephone poles or digging ditches and laying the fibers,” said Windstream CEO, Tony Thomas.