ERIC Number: ED444800
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Broadband Quandary for Rural America. The Main Street Economist: Commentary on the Rural Economy.
High speed data services known as broadband have the potential to make rural areas less isolated and improve the rural quality of life, but physical barriers, sparse population density, and few markets present significant obstacles to their deployment in rural areas. Broadband applications such as e-commerce, distance education, and telemedicine require a communications infrastructure that can move large amounts of data quickly. Currently, many rural regions lack such an infrastructure because broadband is limited by technological constraints prevalent in rural regions. Since providers are not required to offer broadband services to all regions, smaller communities are not top priorities. Satellite technology is the best hope for rural areas but will probably not be available until 2002-03. In addition, an exemption in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for small rural telephone providers serves as an obstruction to those who would offer broadband in rural areas. Legislative and regulatory developments may help. The FCC is considering applying the definition of universal service to broadband services. If that happens, public funds would be available to offset the costs of bringing broadband to rural America. Bills addressing high-speed data and rural regions have been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (TD)
Descriptors: Distance Education, Internet, Policy Analysis, Proximity, Public Policy, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Urban Differences, Telecommunications
Full text at Web site: http://www.kc.frb.org/RuralCenter/mainstreet/MSE_0800.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, MO. Center for the Study of Rural America.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Telecommunications Act 1996