Bringing Broadband to Rural America

Rural residents pay a price for their lack of high-speed Internet access. Meet a group that's trying to extend broadband in less populated areas
Arik Hesseldahl

Sandra Thornton is eager to generate new business for the sewing plant she manages just outside Centerville, Tenn. When the machines at Southeastern Pant are running full tilt, the plant's 55 employees can crank out 2,000 pairs a week for police officers, firefighters, and security guards all over the U.S. Nestled among the rolling, ranch-dotted hills of the central part of the Volunteer State, Thornton's plant has managed to stay open when many clothing companies are sending work overseas, by focusing on custom orders. "All the police agencies want their own stripes, their own pocket sizes," she says. "Our equipment is very easy to change over."

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