When we talk about America’s crumbling infrastructure, it is easy to focus on certain, palpable, issues. Roads and bridges, airports and highways are always the focal point of infrastructure discussions, and for good reason. They need attention, they need to be repaired. But the issue of American infrastructure goes so much further than that, particularly in our rural communities.
In most of our country, the quality of life for Americans is dependent on infrastructure. Farmers often depend on waterways to bring their products to market, and small businesses need high speed internet to properly compete. As infrastructure reform moves through Washington, we need to be sure that the net is cast wide enough to improve the lives of Americans in our rural communities. Thankfully, some lawmakers have already taken note of this.
Several members of Congress have spoken out, both directly to the public and in congressional hearings, about the need to improve our rural infrastructure. They recognize how important the American heartland is to our nation’s prosperity, and have been leading the charge to bring high speed internet, improve the electric grid, and to ensure that our farmers can get their product to market.
It’s exciting to see the national discourse around infrastructure heat up, and the progress already made in Washington should act as a precursor for the successes to come. As infrastructure reform and policy are fully fleshed out, the GAIN coalition is hopeful to see an increased focus on rural infrastructure that has been overlooked for years. Ensuring that Americans living in rural communities have access to high speed internet and a superb water system is vital to promoting American prosperity.