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Cyber Center, 11.30.2017

LINCOLN, NEB. - 11/30/2017 - Information Technology employees work at the Cyber Center Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, the building also houses the servers the company. The server room is considered tornado proof and redundant copies of the server information are housed in Arizona. KAYLA WOLF, Journal Star

Nebraska needs to prevent its young and ambitious workforce from leaving to other tech-developing states.

Bill Maher recently made distasteful assumptions about rural America on his show, such as "There are two Americas, and it seems like ... our roofs have solar panels; theirs have last year’s Christmas lights." Maher’s comments were in light of the Bezos-New York deal that was abandoned by the Amazon CEO.

However, it must be addressed that some of Maher’s words hold merit, like the idea that tech can actually provide local improvements. Arguments regarding Nebraska’s broadband service further the urban-rural divide.

Consequently, legislative action, such as LB184, LB208 and LB549 aim to improve everything from agriculture technology to small business logistics. It is not uncommon to find a business that makes around 90 percent of its profit from online sales.

A state that has fallen behind on broadband, such as Nebraska, will not retain a native or influential workforce if technology continues to be inadequate. Development in technology and the support of such bills could make the 90 percent of Nebraska land used for farming more appealing for business owners and local start-ups.

Other states are rapidly making progress in the tech industry and leaving Nebraska in their dust. Iowa recently passed a bill similar to LB184 and saw an increase in investments for small cell technology. New investments within Nebraska would provide opportunities to strengthen infrastructure and solidify our young workforce.

Nebraskans need to learn how to adapt with technology so we can retain our workforce and not fall behind other states.

Robert Rebuffatti, Lincoln

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