ODESSA – During President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal administration, the Communications Act of 1934 included the concept of universal service to do “the impossible” – get phone service to rural areas, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson wants to do the impossible again for rural residents, this time with broadband.

Broadband is high-speed internet service carried to communities via fiber optic cables. Cable companies do not want to pay the cost to string cable to individuals or small towns, Peterson told about 60 people who gathered at the Odessa Community Center to discuss rural issues.

“There are still some areas in the district that I represent where they don’t have any broadband,” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II said. “We’ve got to do better.”

What little money the federal government has allocated to expand rural broadband has been gobbled up by large companies that have used a legal loophole to avoid providing full coverage.

TO FIND OUT MORE, SEE THE FRIDAY RICHMOND NEWS

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