Rural communities shouldn’t have to settle for slower Internet speeds. The effort to expand broadband Internet to public schools and libraries will draw its funding from the FCC’s E-Rate component of the Universal Service Fund. The Universal Service Fund established by the Communications Act of 1934, was originally created to provide telephony services to low-income and rural areas. With an update from the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Universal Service Fund now covers advanced telecommunications services, including Internet service.
As the U.S. moves toward a national broadband map, several states are undertaking mapping projects thanks to grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A national map will help states determine where broadband Internet actually exists and where it doesn’t, helping to expand access to areas that currently lack it.
Communication and cooperation among federal agencies and states are essential to the success of a national broadband plan, which the Federal Communications Commission released March 16.
That was the message Irene Flannery of the FCC and Cynthia Schulz of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration delivered at the National Association of State...