Cheyenne, OK – Last week, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Representative Jim Baird (IN-04) in leading a resolution recognizing the importance of rural broadband and emphasizing the need to invest in broadband expansion.
“Access to affordable, high-speed internet is essential for millions of families, businesses owners, and communities in today’s 21st society. Unfortunately, rural communities often face challenges as broadband infrastructure is measured by the miles between customers compared to urban communities who measure broadband by the customers between miles,” said Congressman Lucas. “Increasing broadband in rural America allows for families and students to thrive and Main Street businesses to grow. I’m proud to join Representative Baird in recognizing the importance of rural broadband, and I remain committed to eliminating the digital divide that impacts our communities.”
According to a 2020 report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 22.3 percent of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3Mbps service, which is the FCC’s minimum standard for broadband internet. Conversely, only 1.5 percent of urban Americans are without access to these same speeds.
In an article last year, The Oklahoman reported that one in every four Oklahoma students lack high-speed broadband access at home. And in a report published by Oklahoma State University, 52% of rural Oklahomans don’t have access to broadband connection.
“As Congress continues to make legislative decisions regarding broadband, we must ensure that rural America is not left behind,” said Congressman Baird. “High-quality internet access is essential for millions of Americans to learn and work in this increasingly digitally-dependent world, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to eliminate the digital divide and bring reliable broadband to our rural communities.”