It is encouraging to read in State Rep. Don Schroeder’s legislative update this week that the Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, on which he serves, is looking into Universal Service Funds that were authorized in 2009 to be used for broadband services in underserved rural areas. So far, the funds have been largely untapped.
At the very least, Schroeder is correct in saying the communities here are lacking in this area. The exception in Marion County is the city of Marion, which has access to high-speed fiber through its AT&T franchise agreement. Certainly Hillsboro has been short-shrifted in having access to this critical resource for economic development. Promises made by the local cable provider for improvement in this area have fallen short of fruition so far. We wish Schroeder success as he takes on this significant issue. —DR