Rural cell phone towerThe COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the shortcomings in rural America’s access to high-speed internet service. Sixty-three percent of rural residents said in a recent study they have access to a broadband internet connection at their homes. While that number has almost doubled in the last 13 years, rural residents remain well behind of their urban and suburban peers in high-speed connectivity while broadband costs remain high in farm country. It’s got USDA’s attention; a recent wave of federal investment will help build high-speed broadband infrastructure in rural America, and more investment is expected in 2021 as the government and private companies look to expand 5G coverage to the entire country. High-speed connectivity likely will also be part of general infrastructure improvement legislation in the new year. See the ways rural broadband could improve in 2021.