Artisan and agricultural entrepreneurs understand that access to quality and affordable broadband is essential to their business. In this informational session, rural entrepreneurs will learn about policy issues impacting Internet access in rural communities. Panelists will discuss the potential change in rules that Internet and Telephone providers must follow, the Federal Communications Commission’ decision whether or not to allow Internet providers to divide the Internet into a fast lane for those who can afford it and a slow lane for the rest, and state bills that prohibit municipalities from creating their own broadband networks. This session will provide rural entrepreneurs with a working knowledge of rural telecommunications issues and opportunities to engage in national and state decisions that impact their access to Internet service.
Mimi Pickering, Appalshop – Defeat of bill seeking to stop universal telephone service in Kentucky, and change in federal rules that Internet and telephone providers must follow.
Clarissa Ramon, Public Knowledge – Network Neutrality: the FCC’s decision whether or not to allow Internet providers to create a faster Internet lane for those who can afford it and a slow lane for the rest, and how this impacts rural entrepenuers.
Joanne Hovis, Coalition for Local Internet Choice – State bills trying to ban municipalities from creating their own networks.
Whitney Kimball Coe, Center for Rural Strategies – Moderator