• Sarah Trone Garriott

Wire Rural America

"I don't think this crisis creates as many new problems as it does expose existing ones.”

School districts are leading the way in providing access to internet for their students in rural communities and urban. I received a internet access survey from West Des Moines Community Schools (my children’s school district) to try get a better of sense of who needs assistance.

We need big efforts to connect everyone—like the effort to provide electricity to rural communities in the 1930’s. The government worked with farmers to establish the infrastructure it took to cover all that territory. Even today these rural electrical networks operate as cooperatives, because the private utility companies do not find a compelling financial incentive to serve these areas. I just happened to talk to a constituent who works with these co-ops on my daily calls—and he shared that rural electric cooperatives cover 90% of our state in land, but only serve 15% of Iowa’s people.

Here's a great article written by Kirk Siegler for NPR that addresses this topic: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/24/843411430/even-in-crisis-times-there-is-a-push-to-wire-rural-america



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