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Broadband Opportunities for Rural America


Broadband Opportunities for Rural America

A Joint Initiative of the FCC with USDA

Rural Image ”Broadband can be the great enabler that restores America's economic well-being and opens doors of opportunity for all Americans to pass through, no matter who they are, where they live, or the particular circumstances of their individual lives.”

— FCC Commissioner Michael Copps April 8, 2009

Broadband Services

A range of different technology platforms can be used, either independently or in conjunction with one another, to provide broadband services. The links below provide additional information on how each of these various technologies works.

Broadband over Power Line (BPL)
BPL image Power lines reach virtually every community in the country; thus BPL has the potential to play an important role in providing broadband services to American homes and consumers.
Cable imageCable operators have been upgrading infrastructure and employing the use of digital technologies to allow the offering of high speed Internet access.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
DSL image DSL electronically enhances the conventional copper telephone voice line, enabling it to simultaneously provide both voice service and high-speed data traffic.
Fiber image Fiber-to-the-premises technologies use fiber optic cables that run from a distribution frame directly to a customer’s home, property, or neighborhood to provide high-capacity broadband services.
Satellite imageThe ubiquity of satellite signals has long held the potential to deliver broadband communications anywhere and everywhere in America.
Wireless image There are a variety of terrestrial wireless technologies available or being developed to provide broadband services.
Broadband Funding
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) established several broadband initiatives. One initiative included funding for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which is is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission. The BTOP is designed to develop and expand broadband services to rural and underserved areas and improve access to broadband by public safety agencies. Another initiative included funding for the Broadband Initiatives Program, which is administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This program is designed to support the expansion of broadband service in rural areas through financing and grants to projects that provide access to high speed service and facilitate economic development in locations without sufficient access to such service.
 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Broadband Loan Program
- General Field Representatives by State
- Notice of Funds Available
 FCC Rural Broadband Funding Programs
- Rural Health Care Support Program
- Schools and Libraries Universal Service Program (“E-Rate”)

Broadband Reports
 Rural Broadband Strategy - Report (pdf)
 Rural Broadband Strategy - News Release (pdf)
 Rural Broadband Strategy - Adelstein Statement (pdf)
 High-Speed Services for Internet Access Data and Reports (semi-annual)
 Section 706 Advanced Services Reports
 Other FCC Statistical Reports

Broadband Proceedings
 FCC Proceedings Related to Broadband
 USDA Proceedings Related to Broadband

Broadband Initiatives
 Wireless Broadband Access Task Force
 FCC Satellite Rural Forum: Making the Rural Connection
 Indian Telecom Initiatives

Other Resources
A number of organizations outside the FCC have information on broadband technologies and deployment.
 Other Resources on Broadband Services and Deployment
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