Complying with Congressional directives, the FCC on Wednesday released a report on rural broadband strategy that is expected to serve as a springboard to FCC development of an overarching nationwide broadband strategy that fulfills the dictates of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Entitled Bringing Broadband to Rural America: Report on a Rural Broadband Strategy, the 77-page report satisfies the requirements of the 2008 Farm Bill, which directed the FCC to draft a report to Congress in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture that lays out a nationwide plan for deploying broadband to rural Americans. Observing that the report provides “a starting point for the development of policies to . . . restore economic growth and opportunity for Americans residing and working in” rural areas, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps described the report as one that serves as “a prelude to, and a building block for, the national broadband plan which will address in greater detail . . . the input of all stakeholders and the steps the nation must take to achieve its broadband goals.” Report recommendations are focused on three areas: the coordination of rural broadband efforts, the assessment of broadband needs, and strategies for overcoming challenges to rural broadband deployment. Improved coordination between federal agencies and among federal, state and tribal government agencies is recommended to enable the Obama Administration to fulfill its broadband goals in rural and other areas. Among other things, the report also urges federal agencies to “review their programs to identify what internal barriers, if any, may be making rural broadband deployment more difficult.”
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FCC issues report on rural broadband strategy
USA May 29 2009
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