LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska could spend up to $20 million a year to expand high-speed internet service in rural areas under a proposal backed by a diverse alliance of farm, business and school groups and championed by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
The proposed grant program was pitched to a legislative committee Monday as an incentive for broadband providers to install service lines in rural areas where doing so isn’t financially feasible because the populations are too small.
A 2019 report commissioned for Nebraska lawmakers found that many rural residents have at least one provider, but average speeds are slower than in the cities and there are fewer companies to compete and drive down prices.