By: Don Macke, e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Broadband and Rural America Restart, Recovery and Resiliency
The world COVID-19 pandemic health crisis has greatly disrupted our lives with millions of Americans now infected and deaths approaching 215,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data. While the worst effects of the pandemic have largely impacted more densely packed metropolitan areas, it is now spreading hot spots to rural America. One of the major pandemic health measures is to home-base students and workers when possible (e.g., home-basing, or remote work). Whether educational lessons, working from home or just filling some hours with streaming movies, the importance of high speed, reliable and affordable broadband has taken on greater importance. Furthermore, it has illustrated the “have” and “have not” situations across America where access to necessary broadband is not universal. We must learn from this crisis that universal access to broadband is now as important as good roads, health, and safe water. For rural America uneven access to broadband continues to undermine both development and quality of life.
NetWork Kansas is the home for e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, which is led by Don Macke, who has more than 40 years of community economic development and policy experience. The partnership between NetWork Kansas and e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems provides a platform to offer learning institutes, a consulting network, analytics support and mentoring to benefit the entrepreneurs, small businesses, resource partners and communities in Kansas as well as nationally.