Bridging the Digital Divide: Getting High-Speed Internet to Everyone

06:54PM Mar 22, 2019
Chrysanthemum
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Rural broadband continues to get attention from Washington, as it works to bridge the digital divide.

Currently, some 24 million Americans live without access to high-speed internet.  Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission voted to advance conversations around using so-called "TV white spaces" for internet in rural communities. White spaces are unused television frequencies. 

Richard Cullen is the Executive Director of Connect Americans Now. He says those frequencies are the channels in between the channels which can be used to transmit broadband connectivity. 

"There are a lot of companies that are looking at that, but we need to give them the regulatory certainty.  That's an economically-viable solution and the Federal Communications Commission is the main focus right now.  They are looking at a number of existing rules to finalize them so that those companies can have the certainty they need, and the good news is the F.C.C. has already taken steps in that right direction, so I'm confident that we're going to continue to have progress going forward," says Cullen.

Money was also allocated in the latest farm bill to help improve rural America's access to high-speed internet.

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