FCC Commissioner Pai on Rural Broadband
April 24, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) The Farm Bill currently working its way through the House allocates an additional $1 billion dollars for rural broadband deployment.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is committed to closing the digital divide in rural America. “According to the FCC’s latest numbers, more than 24 million Americans still lack access to fixed terrestrial broadband at the 25mbps standard,” he says. “That’s eight percent of the U.S. population. And these stats also show that this is largely a rural problem: only two percent of urban Americans can’t get high speed home broadband, but it’s thirty percent – almost one out of three – for rural Americans.”
Pai also emphasized his focus on a common complaint for lawmakers: that FCC universal service funds go to subsidize additional competitors in areas where private investment already exists, rather than on truly unserved or underserved areas. Pai says focusing on communities that truly have no access is his top priority. Additional funding for rural broadband was expected in an upcoming infrastructure plan, proposed by the White House earlier this year, but that has stalled in Congress, most likely due to midterm elections.
Watch the video above for further details on this topic.