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FCC Develops Strategy For Rural Broadband

By CNet

May 29, 2009



The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a broadband strategy for the rural United States that cautions against relying on a single technology. "Rural broadband likely will include a variety of different technologies that together can support the state-of-the-art, secure, and resilient broadband service that should be our goal for rural America, just as it is for the non-rural parts of the nation," acting FCC chairman Michael Copps says in the report.

Existing issues involving the universal service fund, network openness, spectrum access, special access reform, intercarrier compensation, access to poles and rights of way, and video programming need to be resolved. Federal, state, local, and tribal organizations need to work together to collect data and determine where broadband is available and who is using it. The agency also needs to develop initiatives to drive demand for broadband services.

High network cost is another issue, and the Obama administration has provided $7.2 billion in stimulus money for broadband. The FCC report will serve as a foundation for developing a national broadband policy, which is due by February 2010.

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