The struggles of rural Nebraska are evident as the population decline ceases to stop. But will an amendment co-sponsored by Nebraska U.S. Senator Deb Fischer reverse those trends?
Along with Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken from Minnesota, Fischer says, "Geographic hurdles and population density challenges have left many Nebraskans in rural areas without broadband service. In a world increasingly driven by technology and communications, it is critical for citizens to have access to high-speed cable and Internet services. This bipartisan amendment specifically identifies broadband infrastructure as a priority for the federal government as it considers deficit neutral investments for the coming fiscal year."
So could accessibility of the Internet be the driving force to build rural Nebraska back to what it used to be?
"One of the critical things for bringing people back to smaller communities is access to broadband," said Maxine Moul, USDA Director of Rural Affairs.
John Crabtree from the Centers for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Neb. says having broadband in those smaller communities will help put rural Nebraska back on the map.
"I think internet access is important. I think it's critical that we not create a two tiered society that rural people have access to the same information and data," said Crabtree.
Fischer points out this investment will not add to the federal deficit.