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Broadband's Impact

The Rural Broadband Moment at the Broadband Communities Summit in Austin

Drew Clark



February 14, 2019 - Americans love broadband. More accurately, they hate it when they can't get access to high-speed internet.

Right now, Rural America faces a huge crisis, and it isn't getting better.

According to a report, the "American Broadband Initiative," released yesterday by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, Rural America is woefully behind the rest of the country on broadband access.

Only 2 percent of Americans in cities lack access to broadband, as currently defined by the Federal Communications Commission -- 25 Megabits per second download, 3 Megabits per second upload.

The comparable number for residents of Rural America is that 30 percent lack access to broadband.

The numbers are also bad on mobile deployment: 90.5 percent of Americans living in urban areas have access to fourth-generation LTE services, whereas only 70 percent of rural Americans enjoy that option.

What can we do about this?

Unfortunately, there isn't one single silver bullet solution. Money is one important component. So is state-wide interest, often in the form of a state broadband office, or a state broadband plan. Education on how to bring broadband, and how to more effectively make use of it, are also a component.

The Rural Telecommunications Congress, a 20-year-old grassroots organization devoting to advocating for better broadband in Rural America, sees all of these approaches as vital.

I have the great privilege of serving as the President of the RTC, which has a long and storied history of calling attention to this issue, demanding better broadband for all Americans, and incubating creative solutions.

And, as we approach the RTC's annual conference, jointly with the Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas, from Tuesday, April 9 to Thursday, April 11, we agree that it's time to get serious about solving our Rural Broadband crises.

Sign up now to attend all aspects of the Broadband Communities Summit, including the Rural Telecommunications Congress, at $410.00, the cheapest rate available for those who are not government officials or public representatives. See you in Austin!

To sign up at the Rural Telecommunications Congress rate, register below, or at (Make sure to select "CODE HOLDERS" radio button and use VIP Code RTC410)


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