NEBRASKA -- Gov. Pete Ricketts rolled out a new initiative Wednesday aiming to connect rural Nebraskans to high-speed internet.

The focus of "connect Nebraska" is to find what areas are most in need. 

State officials said they are waiting on the federal government to approve plans for internet expansion. 

The program's development has been made possible due to funding released at the state and federal level, including over $100 million to Nebraska through the American Rescue Plan Act, and another $30 million opened through a bill that passed in the State Legislature in 2021. 

"I think we've got a leg up on a lot of other states because we passed the World Broadband Bridge Act in 2021," Ricketts said. "So we've really got the kind of got the structure in place to be able to work to get these funds out already. So, I think we're ahead of other states in that aspect."

The state will launch public meetings on the issue, and a website will go live next week to show Nebraskans where they can find a listening session to attend.