President Obama has made his belief clear that the mass deployment of high-speed broadband solutions to rural America is integral to job creation and economic growth. In fact, Obama pledged in his most recent State of the Union address that 98 percent of all Americans will have access to next-generation broadband solutions within the next five years.
As part of this initiative, Obama recently signed an executive order to establish the White House Rural Council. This organization will be charged with the task of addressing the challenges of rural America by streamlining federal investments and maximizing the benefits of federal programs.
Specifically, the council will look to promote innovation, expand digital and physical networks as well as increase the flow of capital to the nation's most rural areas, according to a White House release. The council will accomplish these goals by making investment recommendations and coordinating public, private and federal partnerships.
In addition, the White House Rural Council will work hand-in-hand with agricultural organizations, small businesses and local governments to inspire innovation, job growth and access to funding.
“Strong rural communities are key to a stronger America,” Obama noted in a statement. “That’s why I’ve established the White House Rural Council to make sure we’re working across government to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth.”
Listed among the key factors to fostering growth in rural America are broadband access, infrastructure improvements, network rollouts and education initiatives.
The council will be made up of representatives from 25 different federal offices, including the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The White House Rural Council met on the morning of its inception to discuss the importance of providing capital to rural areas.
"This is absolutely essential in order for small towns to attract new businesses, spur growth and create jobs," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a blog post. "This is especially true in the sectors of economic growth involving new technological innovations and development of renewable energy."
Broadband solutions providers are currently working with federal and local governments to roll out high-speed networks across the country.
Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca