“Approximately 28 percent of rural residents still lack access to the kind of broadband that most Americans take for granted,” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said today as the FCC and the Department of Agriculture released a report calling for more federal help for bringing broadband, or better broadband, to rural areas.
The report uses as a standard high-speed Internet service of 3 megabytes per second, and says 26.2 million Americans lack access to such service. Of that number, 73 percent, or 19.1 million people, live in rural areas. Here is a summary of the report; here is the full report.
The National Rural Assembly, set for Tuesday through Thursday in St. Paul, Minn., will address the need for rural broadband. An advocate for it, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, will speak Wednesday, June 29.
“People may not think of high-speed Internet access as a necessity, but if your community doesn’t have it, your businesses are not going to be able to compete, you’re not going to get access to the same heath care, and your kids are going to be at a disadvantage in school,” said Dee Davis, president of the Center for Rural Strategies and chair of the assembly steering committee. For more information go to http://www.ruralassembly.org/.