News Flash

Home

Posted on: May 10, 2018

House Farm Bill Addresses Rural Broadband Needs

Assessing-Rural-NeedsBy Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, May 5, 2018


Wise County’s pursuit of improved broadband service will possibly benefit rural areas across the country through the new Farm Bill, according to Congressman Mac Thornberry.


Thornberry met Wednesday with farmers and ranchers in Wichita Falls to discuss new elements of the Farm Bill as outlined by the House Ag Committee. It includes language that provides funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help pay for broadband studies in rural areas and to cover the “middle mile,” which is the space between main fiber lines and outlying areas.


Wise County, in partnership with the Bridgeport and Decatur EDCs, conducted a broadband study in 2017. It cost $46,000.


Wise County Judge J.D. Clark said he looked for financial assistance through federal rural development programs, but none was available. This led to conversations with Thornberry about the plight.


“We were lucky that we had two local EDCs to partner with,” Clark said, “but not all rural areas have that.”


Thornberry told the Messenger Thursday that he regularly checks in with Clark to see what the judge has in the works.


“He mentioned that Wise County spent the money to do a study on broadband to foster economic development and make sure the county isn’t left behind, but there were two problems,” Thornberry said. “There was no help from the government to do the study … he also said there are government funds through the Department of Agriculture for broadband, but nothing for that middle mile.”


The middle mile is a term used to describe the space between a main fiber line and potential points of connectivity located some distance away.


“It’s that middle mile that the Wise County study identified as the crucial missing factor,” Thornberry said.


For example, Clark said there’s high speed availability in northern Tarrant County, but at this time there are no lines to extend that service to Wise County.


Thornberry, who is head of the House Armed Services Committee, worked with his committee members who are also on the House Ag Committee, and they created the Farm Bill amendments tied to broadband infrastructure.


“It was directly because of what Wise County did and discovered that we were able to expand [the Farm Bill] to meet that need,” he said. “To me, this is a prime example of the way government is supposed to work across the different levels.


“I really appreciate the work from Wise County that went into it and the willingness to share their findings.”


Clark, who attended Thornberry’s meeting Wednesday, said he was pleased to see the Congressman take local concerns to heart.


“It’s encouraging that we can communicate something like that, and your member of Congress listens to it and it ends up in a bill,” the judge said.


Other changes to the House Farm Bill that were discussed with farmers and ranchers included items related to commodities and a work requirement for able-bodied food stamp recipients.


The House is expected to vote on the bill later this month. The Senate does not have a vote scheduled for its bill at this time.


Clark said the next step for Wise County is an update on the “big takeaways” of the broadband study, and then he will form a local broadband taskforce. The prospect of funding for potential projects may make local infrastructure goals more realistic.


View original article HERE.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Home

46700048_2256291377934985_9048078929557979136_n

DECATUR IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE

Posted on: November 24, 2018

SHOP SMALL

Posted on: November 24, 2018
46512327_2253488038215319_7702221639974387712_n

Getting Rid of Hazardous Materials

Posted on: November 19, 2018
45742679_2247826622114794_8453854458806272000_n

Job Market Increase in Decatur

Posted on: November 9, 2018
45596994_2246612322236224_3250462907816738816_o

Nov. 6th General Election Results

Posted on: November 7, 2018
45491501_2245424832354973_3258397627967864832_n

ELECTION DAY is tomorrow!!

Posted on: November 5, 2018

GET YOUR VOTE ON

Posted on: October 30, 2018
Go Big in Texas

Texas earns three No. 1 rankings:

Posted on: October 2, 2018

Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

Posted on: October 4, 2018
TEDC

Upcoming TEDC Webinar

Posted on: October 9, 2018
Wise-County-Texas-Early-Voting_ButtonLogo

Early voting in election set to start.

Posted on: October 19, 2018

Sales tax collections continue roll.

Posted on: October 19, 2018

Wise County Unemployment Rate Down

Posted on: October 23, 2018

Home Sales Slow in Wise County

Posted on: October 25, 2018

Proposed Tax Decrease

Posted on: August 14, 2018

Decatur eyes tax cuts

Posted on: August 9, 2018

Texas Produces Urban Employment Uplift

Posted on: August 22, 2018

Get your Taste of Wise Tickets!

Posted on: August 21, 2018

Decatur EDC Marks 25 Years!

Posted on: August 7, 2018

Governor's Small Business Handbook

Posted on: February 16, 2018

The Drive to Start a Business

Posted on: February 28, 2018

Dinner with the Wise County Mayors

Posted on: March 1, 2018

Decatur Texas Attractions

Posted on: March 6, 2018

Texas job growth to rebound in 2018

Posted on: March 8, 2018

Texas Wins the 2017 Governor's Cup

Posted on: March 27, 2018

Coming Soon: Wise County Hiring Event

Posted on: March 19, 2018

Wise County Finances In Order

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Wise County Hiring Event

Posted on: April 9, 2018

Santa visits Neighborhoods

Posted on: December 13, 2017

Protecting square from fire

Posted on: January 4, 2018

10 ways to help the flood victims

Posted on: September 4, 2017

Decatur ISD sets tax rate, approves budget

Posted on: September 8, 2017

5 things to know in Texas energy this week

Posted on: September 12, 2017

United Way kicks off fundraising campaign

Posted on: September 14, 2017

PD Recognizes Local Businesses

Posted on: September 18, 2017

Decatur EDC plans land purchase

Posted on: October 2, 2017

Company donates shoes to storm victims

Posted on: October 3, 2017

Ribbon Cutting for Sands Company Today

Posted on: August 29, 2017

Call 811 before digging

Posted on: August 15, 2017

Wise named Purple Heart County

Posted on: July 17, 2017