SnoCo working to get broadband to access internet

  • Saturday, April 27, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

Access to high speed broadband internet has become increasingly important in today’s world. From commerce to communication, so much of our lives depend on reliable internet. While most urban residents enjoy high-speed internet, many residents in rural areas do not. That is why I am working to find new options for residents in rural areas of Snohomish County to access broadband internet.

As traffic congestion continues to frustrate commuters, telecommuting is becoming more common. The ability to download and send large electronic files, participate in conference and video calls, and manage online communications from your home allows for such telecommuting. This convenience allows residents the best of both worlds, being able to live in quiet rural parts of the county while working for employers in the city.

Rural broadband access not only improves quality of life for residents in outlying areas, it also creates opportunities to expand economic development.

Small and home-based businesses can blossom if they have this essential asset.

According to the Rural Local Initiatives Support Corp., Internet Service Providers are required to report broadband availability and speed twice a year. But the data can be misleading as entire zip codes can be marked as “served” if just one house in the area has broadband internet. This means the maps used by Congress, federal agencies, and the state do not paint an accurate picture of reliable internet.

This is why I have made rural broadband access a priority as we work with federal and state partners on the county’s legislative priorities. At a recent National Association of Counties conference, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue highlighted the administration’s focus on access to rural broadband and proposed investments to increase this access.

I have also spoken with our representatives in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House about this issue. These partnerships at the state and federal level will be critical to making progress on expanding internet access.

As part of the effort to provide more accurate data, NACo has released a mobile app to test broadband upload and download speeds. The app is called “TestIt” and is available on Apple and Android devices. The app allows users to test the speed of broadband internet wherever they are. With more-accurate information, I hope we can better serve residents in the outlying areas of our county.

Nate Nehring is on the Snohomish County Council and represents Arlington, Marysville and other areas.

More in Opinion

Emily Countryman
Want to soak up the sun? Do it safely

Are you ready to soak up the sun? Most of us in… Continue reading

How can anyone be against having clean water?

I don’t know how you can be against clean water, but some… Continue reading

Our cities offer free entertainment

We are very fortunate to live in Marysville and Arlington. Both communities… Continue reading

5 real estate tips to avoid stress

Stressed is desserts spelled backwards. So let’s start the meal with pie… Continue reading

We’re proud of our students, staff at MSD

Great things are happening in the Marysville School District. If you’ve read… Continue reading

In 1 year, embedded social worker program making a difference

Police Chief Rick Smith and I joined officials Tuesday from Snohomish County… Continue reading

HIts and misses

Hits Marysville Rotary for giving out $178,500 in scholarships to Marysville graduates.… Continue reading

Help your child stay connected with fun learning activities this summer

With the end of the school year fast approaching, many families are… Continue reading

Growth is a gift, but it can also cause grief

Do you remember getting growing pains as a young kid? I felt… Continue reading

State budgets include lots for this area

By Nate Nehring Every two years, the state Legislature adopts a biennial… Continue reading

Infrastructure investments essential to supporting Arlington

Over the last few months, we have been sharing the city’s strategy… Continue reading

80 percent of ACS donations benefits patients

Did you ever give to a charity organization only to discover that… Continue reading