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VOA Connect (04/06/2018) A Path to Revival

((Banner: A Path to Revival))
((Reporter/Camera: Deepak Dobhal))

((Adapted by: Martin Secrest / Philip Alexiou))

((Map: United States / Nebraska / Stapleton))
((Banner: 23 million rural Americans lack broadband internet))

((Kathy Starr, Co-owner, Bull Barn Genetics))
People who live in the cities where they can access the fiber optics and the faster Internet need to count their blessings, because we struggle all the time.
((Roberta Starr, Co-owner, Bull Barn Genetics))
I live on Cedar Top Ranch, which is about 27 miles (43km) to the nearest town. We have nine kids. We don’t know what makes the signal, kind of, come and go because there’s days that we can just easily access it and other days we can’t.
((NATS Ashley Starr))
((Roberta Starr))

Last year, it really affected one of my daughters that they had to do most of their homework on their computer. She had to get back to Arnold so that she had the Internet access. Arnold is 50 miles (80km) away.
((Josh Flint, Technician, Great Plains Communications))
A lot of kids that are out here in the middle of nowhere, we’re laying fiber optics to provide high speed Internet voice to rural customers. So, with the capabilities of high speed Internet, you know, there’s a huge learning advantage.
((Bryan Rooney, Technician, Great Plains Communications))
Oh, it can change a lot of things and the possibilities are endless and it’s great to be a part of that.
((Voice of Kathy Starr, Co-owner, Bull Barn Genetics))
Probably 10 days ago, the crews were out laying down fiber optics. We’d been seeing them laying line for a couple of weeks, and so we were excited to see them come in here. The rural areas need to be connected to the world just like everyone else.
((Kathy Starr, Co-owner, Bull Barn Genetics))
I know my mother-in-law had a dishwasher installed, waiting for electricity. And this was in the (19)40s. So, that’s what it meant to them and it would do the same thing for us. The Internet would help us tremendously.
((Locator: Tryon, Nebraska))
((Voice of John Bryant, McPherson County Commissioner))

There used to be 12 communities in this county. In 1927, there was 25 hundred people in this county. We’ve dried up now to 530 some people.
((John Bryant, McPherson County Commissioner))
If you do not have the Internet, if you do not have the broadband, these young people are going to move away. Our population will dwindle down to nothing but a few big ranchers, and we need these young people.