Thursday, May 28, 2009

FCC Releases Report on Broadband Strategy for Rural America

The FCC released a report entitled "Bringing Broadband to Rural America" that identifies common problems affecting rural broadband, including technological challenges, lack of data, and high network costs. Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael J. Copps described the report as a starting point for the development of policies to deliver broadband to rural areas and restore economic growth and opportunity for Americans residing and working in those areas.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) established several broadband initiatives with $7.2 billion in funding. This includes $4.7 billion in funding for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in consultation with the FCC. The purposes of BTOP is to provide access to broadband in unserved areas, improve broadband access for both underserved areas and public safety agencies, and provide broadband education, training and support.


The Recovery Act also provided an additional $2.5 billion in funding for the Broadband Investment Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the USDA. This program is designed to support the expansion of broadband service in rural areas through financing and grants to projects that provide access to high speed service and facilitate economic development in locations without sufficient access to such service.
http://www.fcc.govhttp://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-291012A1.pdf

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