Rep. Thornberry helping to increase broadband in rural Texas

Some farmers find it difficult to farm without broadband to connect their technology to. (Source: KAUZ)
Some farmers find it difficult to farm without broadband to connect their technology to. (Source: KAUZ)

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Technology continues to evolve in the farming industry, but services to connect to that technology are not.

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry is looking to address broadband in rural areas to fix the problem.

He was in Wichita Falls on Wednesday to talk with farmers and producers about how to do it.

Congress is expected to vote on the 2018 Farm Bill later in May.

Over half a billion dollars worth of grant money are in the bill to address the issue and he wants to make sure the money is used correctly.

"This is a priority for the White House and this is a priority for Congress," Congressman Thornberry said. "My goal and reason for this meeting today was to help make sure that money is put to good use."

Congressman Thornberry has been working on this initiative for years.

"It's remarkable the way that technology has changed and the tools that have been made available," he said. "But those tools require access to broadband."

Farmer and Rancher Clayton Henry said no broadband has affected him while trying to work.

"We can have the high-speed fiber optic cable line laid along the road," Henry said. "But the trouble I've had, and others, is we may be needing to use it far from where it is."

"We're not just throwing money at a problem," Congressman Thornberry said. "But we're doing what will really get it to those farmers in rural communities that need it."

"This Farm Bill is going to be extremely important to rural America," Farmer and Wichita County Commissioner, Barry Mahler said. "It's going to be extremely important to agriculture because we need that roadmap to move forward."

Improving broadband will remain a top priority of Congressman Thornberry.

"We have to bring broadband to rural America now starting in the twenty-teens," Congressman Thornberry said. "It's going to as vital as electricity was to my grandparents."

Mahler said it will not only help the farming and ranching community, but it will help grow businesses in rural Texas.

Wise County Judge J.D. Clark said they've lost lots of businesses in the past due to lack of broadband in their county.

Congressman Thornberry said it was a very productive meeting and added that he has some really good notes to take back to Washington D.C. on how to get this bill done right.

Copyright 2018 RNN Texoma. All Rights Reserved.