This past spring, we aired a story about the gap between the United States and Europe when it comes to broadband access. Recently, Pioneer Public TV in Appleton, Minn., looked at a broadband divide closer to home by exploring the gap between broadband access in rural areas compared to urban areas within the United States.
While many Internet providers claim to give “broadband” access, the loosely defined term has left many Americans wondering if they’re receiving the best service. Specifically in rural communities, like those in midwestern Minnesota, companies providing “high-speed” Internet may only be granting users a moderately fast download speed, while upload speeds are severely lagging.
Pioneer Public TV takes a look at the situation by exploring the stories of people who are lacking fast, reliable Internet access; companies that are struggling to keep up with the demand of supplying high-speed fiber connections in rural communities; and how our representatives in Washington, D.C. are handling the problem.
This segment was produced with the support of a grant that Need to Know provided to eight public television stations across the country to highlight national issues that are impacting local communities. Grants were awarded to the following stations: KNPB-TV Channel 5 (Reno, Nev.), Mountain Lake Public Telecommunications Council (Plattsburgh, NY), Nashville Public Television (Nashville, Tenn.), Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (Lincoln, Neb.), Nine Network of Public Media (St. Louis, Mo.), Pioneer Public Television (Appleton, Minn.), WXXI (Rochester, NY) and WBGU-TV (Bowling Green, Ohio).