Faced with high fees, slow speeds and poor customer service, many communities in the U.S. have turned to community broadband projects to free themselves from the clutches of major telecom providers. But this isn’t an option for everyone, as 26 states either severely restrict or outright ban community broadband initiatives. Healthy competition is meant to be the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but the telecom industry has not only never embraced that mentality, it has apparently gone one step further by successfully lobbying to reduce competition through restrictions and outright bans.
The rural broadband fund that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed last week would rely on funding from an existing broadband program slated to expire next year, while also setting higher standards for internet speeds, according to the FCC. Around $2 billion has been available annually in recent years through the Connect America Fund and that same amount would be shifted to the new fund, dubbed the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, said Mark Wigfield.
The numbers paint a rough picture: USDA forecasts net farm income level for 2019 to be only 77 percent of the annual average for 2000 through 2017. It’s down 50 percent from 2013 alone. Inflation-adjusted farm debt is the highest it has been since 1980 and the debt-to-asset ratio for farmers is rising steadily.
Law enforcement will be unable to permanently take ownership of cash and other property seized in drug cases unless certain conditions are met under legislation signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Oregon is the first state in the country to allow dentists to administer vaccines to patients. In a year marked with heated debate about the state’s involvement in boosting vaccination rates, the bill was quietly passed and signed into law with little fanfare. But it sets a new precedent for the role dentistry plays in the health care system.Two other states have laws that allow dentists to give flu shots to adults, but in Oregon, dentists will soon be able to give out any vaccine available at a primary care doctor’s office.
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday (May 10) that US President Donald Trump had asked him to create a plan to help American farmers cope with the heavy impact on agriculture of the trade war with China. A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the US Department of Agriculture’s US$12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations.
Wisconsin agriculture officials say they've killed all the deer on a Portage County deer farm after a buck from the facility tested positive for chronic wasting disease. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced Friday that all 30 deer on the Grand View Whitetails LLC breeding farm were killed May 1. Six of them tested positive for CWD.Authorities announced in November that a 3-year-old buck from the breeding farm that was killed on the Deep Woods Hunt Ranch in Portage County had CWD. The discovery led to quarantines on both the farm and the ranch.
A new plan to help rural Canada thrive will focus on expanding internet and cellphone coverage, even funding communities that want to be their own service providers, the minister in charge of it says.
Researchers have discovered an ancient forest of bald cypress trees along a North Carolina river, documenting some trees older than than 2,000 years old.One of the bald cypress trees along the Black River was documented to be at least 2,624 years old.
A proposal to protect eroding farmland in southwest Washington by taking gravel from the Lower Satsop River in Grays Harbor County was vetoed May 8 by Gov. Jay Inslee. In a veto message, Inslee said the sediment-removal project did not belong in a bill intended to supply orcas with more salmon.