A number of people in the US do not have authorization to high-speed Internet connectivity and in spite of efforts to drive rural broadband, there is still a lot of work to be conducted. Elizabeth Warren (the Presidential candidate) has the problem in mind, and she disclosed a plan to narrow the digital gap.
She aims to allocate $85 Billion in federal support to extend broadband networks in rural regions. Presently, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) provides $4.6 Billion yearly to support infrastructure for rural broadband, while the Rural Utilities Service gives $800 Million yearly in loans and grants.
Below Warren’s plan, the $5 Billion support for extended broadband on Native American areas alone might cross what the FCC presently provides altogether every year. Info from US Census Bureau recommends almost 50% of people in Native America on tribal lands or reservations do not have access to broadband.
Should Warren succeed the election, she aims to deploy an Office of Broadband Access in the DEC (Department of Economic Development) that might look after the $85 Billion in support. Rather than private ISPs, the support might go to “telephone and electricity cooperatives, tribes, nonprofit organizations, counties, cities, and other state sub-departments” that develop out broadband in rural regions. Those that get the support might have to subsidize offerings for low-revenue people.
On a related note, this week, the FCC announced a task force intended to show support for the set up of broadband all over unserved farms & ranches. The US Department of Agriculture and the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force will collaborate together with private and public sector stakeholders. It will be accountable for designing policy suggestions for agriculture, rural-based broadband. “As I have traveled the nation, I have seen the amazing innovations, efficiencies, and improvements that high-speed connectivity brings to farms and ranches of these days,” claimed Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman.