U.S. Senator Mark Pryor along with the Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission held a field hearing in Little Rock to discuss the importance of broadband, wireless and wired communication services to Arkansas families and businesses.
Along with the major providers of broadband to the state of Arkansas, UAMS Center for Distance Health’s Outreach Director Michael Manley testified before the panel on the importance of broadband connectivity and telehealth in the state.
“We’re currently up and running with telehealth around the state, one of our current telehealth initiatives we have just started is the hand trauma program. With so few hand trauma surgeons in the state, we have enabled them to see patients from around the state using i-Pads and connecting directly into the Arkansas e-Link network. “, said Manley.
In a release issued by the Senator’s office earlier, Pryor said, “High-speed internet is no longer a luxury – It’s a necessity for businesses, students, and families in today’s global economy. Our state has stepped up when it comes to broadband deployment, but we need to continue the momentum. I’m looking forward to hearing directly from businesses and officials about how we can work together to connect Arkansans to the internet and all the benefits that come with it. “
During the hearing David Merrifield Executive Director of ARE-ON, a partner with the Arkansas e-Link network, testified how the fiber optic network is up and running and providing the much needed redundancy around the state for telecommunications at schools and medical facilities.
Senator Pryor along with Commissioner Rosenworcel will also be visiting a local school to discuss the need of affordable internet access in classrooms.