A series of recent announcements and actions from state and federal governments, as well as trade associations have once again highlighted the importance of broadband for rural areas.
Earlier this year, the Universal Service Fund (USF) which was designed to ensure that every American had access to affordable telephone service was debated. The FCC announced a series of sweeping changes to the $5 billion fund - which were initially widely welcomed for fighting fraud and closing loopholes.
However - after analysis of the complex compensation models for rural carrier reimbursement, opposition began to mount.
More recently, the FCC announced a new funding model designed to support the deployment of broadband in rural areas for telemedicine and the delivery of healthcare in rural areas.
In addition, The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), a national service organization representing more than 900 rural electric utilities that provide electricity to approximately 42 million consumers in 47 states, called on Congress to focus on broadband access in rural areas.