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Conference to Explore Rural Digital Divide

By Scott Stewart

The Daily Record

  Access to high-speed internet can feel like the difference between the 21st century or the 19th century for many living in small towns and farmsteads across America’s vast rural landscape.

  The issue of uneven access to high-speed internet and other modern technologies is referred to as the “digital divide,” and an all-day conference coming up at the University of Nebraska College of Law aims to delve into some challenges and possible solutions.

  The law school’s annual telecommunications conference runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and offers credit for up to 6.5 hours of continuing legal education.

  “Our goal is to give exposure to the business and regulatory side of a technologically-dynamic and highly regulated industry,” conference organizer Gus Hurwitz said in release. “Rural telecom providers are very sophisticated businesses operating right here in the middle of America. They are on the front lines of many regulatory challenges.”

  The second-annual conference is hosted by the law school’s Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program. Experts from across the country will discuss the rural digital divide, paying particular attention to the role of wireless technology in rural America and various federal programs that provide funding.

  A panel discussion over lunch will feature speakers from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce and Nebraska Public Service Commission.

  The conference is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit law.unl.edu/telecom.

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