L/SFR Sneak Peek: Rural Access to Broadband Continues to Lag

July 12, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

(This post is excerpted from an article in the July 18 issue of Local/State Funding Report.) Despite significant federal investment and administration attention, more needs to be done to fully deploy rural broadband service, according to a new report released in June by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission.

The June report, compiled by the FCC and the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, found that while broadband deployment through ongoing loan and grant programs remains a top priority, broadband service is still not in reach for a significant number of rural residents.

“While we have made significant progress, the report shows that approximately 28 percent of rural residents still lack access to the kind of broadband that most Americans take for granted,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. “That is not acceptable, and it’s why the FCC has launched major initiatives to overhaul our universal service system, free more spectrum and reduce barriers to broadband deployment. These efforts will help ensure that high-speed Internet can connect rural communities to global markets, jobs and world-class education and health care.”

For the rest of the story, subscribers to the Local/State Funding Report can refer to their July 18 issue.

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