Stuck in the ‘dial-up’ age

Steve McCloud’s farm is in a black hole on the Kansas prairie. On the map, the Harvey County farm is connected to the superhighway of information that has become a necessity in today’s society. But travel down the dirt road to his farmstead just 4 miles north of Newton and a different reality emerges. The McClouds have slow and somewhat sporadic access to the World Wide Web. A mile to the north Moundridge Communications is running new fiber. But the small-town telephone company can’t help him because he is not in its territory. Cox Communications covers Newton but doesn’t extend past the city limits. “So, I have satellite, which is better than nothing but not much—and it is expensive,” he said. McCloud and about 100 Kansas Farm Bureau members addressed this during a mid-March leadership trip to Washington. Besides talking farm bill, global trade and immigration, McCloud told his story to lawmakers and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. “My fear is, according to the maps, we are covered, and we told Chairman Pai that,” McCloud said. “My fear is we are in this hole.”


Stuck in the ‘dial-up’ age