During the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the importance of having high internet speeds in a community and in agriculture, as part of the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. Three years ago, the average rural community in Nebraska had an average broadband speed of less than 3 megabits per second. In most communities, that hasn’t changed that much. With newer smartphones we have more speed than that with the 4LTE cell coverage. Continuing at that level will not be a plus for communities and regions surrounding communities as many of today’s technologies require 6-10 and even up to 20 mbps of speed.
As extension educators, it is important to provide encouragement to community leaders in agriculture and within communities to develop plans to increase broadband. The next generation of young families may bypass a job in a community without high speed, dependable and affordable internet.
Next week is the Nebraska Broadband Conference. If you have interest, you might consider attending. Some info and a link to the registration site is available below. I do have two FREE registrations to the first folks that drop me an email.
Broadband Connecting Nebraska Conference Oct. 1-2 in Kearney
LINCOLN, Neb. — The 2014 Broadband Connecting Nebraska Conference Oct. 1-2 will give people a chance to share their success stories, as well as hear from experts about the latest developments in Internet technology.
The conference will be at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.
Rod Armstrong, vice president of strategic partnerships for AIM, said the conference will cover topics of interest not only to IT professionals, but also to anyone who wants to increase their business’s productivity through broadband technology.
“Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your market using IT, looking to find your next qualified candidate for a job, or simply aiming to make your business run more efficiently,” he said, “this conference will undoubtedly provide you with something that will positively affect the future of your business or company.”
Topics include: “Moving to the Cloud: Things to Understand and Consider; Driving Community and Economic Growth Through Broadband; Cool Tools and Mobile Apps for Business; Security Do’s and Don’ts; Developing the IT Pipeline; Remote Video and Sensing; and Broadband Availability and Affordability.
Keynote speakers will include:
– Daniel Sieberg, author of “The Digital Diet,” technology correspondent, and senior marketing manager at Google, “Putting the Pieces Together: Making Sense of Transformational Technologies.”
– Shane Farritor, professor of engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “Maker Spaces: Driving Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”
– Keith Adams, deputy director, USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service Program, “Smart Communities and Broadband.”
– Gene Hand, Nebraska Public Service Commission, “E-Rate and Other Broadband Regulatory Changes.
– Anne Byers, Nebraska Information Technology Commission, “Moving Forward with the State Broadband Plan.”
“The Statewide Conference provides an opportunity for community leaders and service providers to learn how other areas have increased broadband capacity,” said Charlotte Narjes, special projects manager, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Successful efforts that increase access and adoption across Nebraska will be highlighted.”
Registration is available at aimforbrilliance.org/broadband.
This conference is offered as part of the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. This Broadband Mapping and Planning Initiative is funded through a grant to the Nebraska Public Service Commission by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and aims to increase broadband adoption and use. Project partners include the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Information Technology Commission, Nebraska Public Service Commission, and the AIM Institute. For more information, check http://broadband.nebraska.gov.