Congressman LaMalfa’s Newsletter came in my email this morning and I was instantly disappointed. His opening paragraph:
Last week was National Infrastructure Week, but there were no parades or celebrations of America’s infrastructure system this year. The truth is, we’re lagging far behind where we should be, and we must do something about it. Rural America faces many unique infrastructure challenges. Dilapidated roads, crumbling bridges, and battered levees and dams litter the country from coast to coast, and Northern California is no exception.
Broadband is critical infrastructure and there are 100s of citizens in the Congressman’s District that cannot get access to this critical infrastructure. I sent the Congressman the following Email:
Dear Congressman LaMalfa
In your discussions of infrastructure deficiencies, please include the lack of broadband access. In your most recent newsletter discussing infrastructure issues, you ignored broadband access. FCC Commissioners have been touring rural locations to observed the rural broadband challenges. You should invite some to visit the Sierra Counties and see the challenges that we face in obtaining broadband access, a powerful economic development tool for rural communities. I examine and report on the rural broadband issue on my Rural Economy Technology blog — https://ruraleconomytechnology.com Please share this link with your staff and colleagues.
I have communicated with Congressman LaMalfa and his staff about broadband issues in the past and they have given positive responses, but somehow broadband is not considered critical infrastructure in their minds. This is most unfortunate as the political muscle needed to ensure that all rural citizens have broadband access will be missing when budgets are drawn and public policy is made.
Rural electrification was not possible without government assistance, as the ROI for commercial power companies was not evident. It took government assistance to bring electricity to the farms and ranches of America. It is going to take similar assistance to bring broadband to rural California and other rural states. It is important that our congressional representatives understand this fact.
Let Congressman LaMalfa and Congressman McClintock know that you are expecting their support for public policy and budget carveouts for rural broadband. Make sure they know you consider broadband part of America’s critical infrastructure.