Why Access to Broadband Is Important to Rural America

rural area

With numerous broadband deployment initiatives and federal funding opportunities on the horizon, America's broadband leaders who are actively involved in bridging the digital divide have the expertise and experience to get the job done. NCTA recently sat down with Midco Chief Operating Officer Ben Dold to learn more about the ways that high-speed connectivity can transform lives in America’s rural communities.

Connecting Rural America to Opportunities

Midco serves over 490,000 homes and businesses across Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, with some towns having fewer than 100 people. Dold also has rural roots, and spoke to NCTA about broadband’s impact on rural communities from not only what he's witnessed firsthand working for Midco, but from what he personally experienced growing up in a small town.

  • "I have a unique perspective on the importance of rural broadband as someone who grew up in a small community and looked at career opportunities to stay within that area and didn't see a lot," said Dold, touching on the economic opportunities that broadband provides.
  • Dold continued, "When you think about a state like South Dakota that's very dependent upon agriculture, our ability to bring broadband out to those farms and those rural communities really helps them put food on the table for the bigger cities and support the broader Midwest landscape."
  • Midco's unique impact in the region can be seen through its behind-the-scenes work in powering Feeding South Dakota, a Sioux Falls-based nonprofit whose mission is to end the hunger crisis in their state, and its efforts in extending fixed wireless technologies to bring internet service to its hardest-to-reach areas. 

Cable providers like Midco recognize the significance of broadband access for rural areas, and will continue to expand their infrastructure to connect as many Americans as possible.