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Imagine Idaho working to help with internet connectivity

| March 18, 2021 1:00 AM

Much like the rest of rural America, Idaho faces connectivity, reliability, and affordability problems with broadband. More than ever, access to broadband for remote learning, remote work, and tele-health are paramount. Building broadband infrastructure is expensive regardless of the location, but fewer people in rural areas mean fewer customers, because of this͕ many internet service providers have not made investments where they can’t get a return. With less incentive to build or improve infrastructure and a lack of competition, companies leave many rural residents with few, outdated options.

The Imagine Idaho coalition is working to ensure communities are prepared to receive funding as soon as it becomes available, so they can build and maintain infrastructure and create competition in these underserved communities. With large federal funding opportunities coming, Idaho must get its fair share of funding as well as guaranteeing municipalities have the appropriate authority to use funds now and in the future and enable them to get to work right away building infrastructure. As Idaho’s communities build and maintain this critical infrastructure through public-private partnerships, all Idahoans will enjoy the benefits of reliable broadband that will empower them to live, learn, and work from anywhere.

CHRIS COCHRAN

Coeur d’Alene