Should access to high-speed Internet be available to all residents in the U.S.? For years, the best connections were really only available in metropolitan areas and those living in rural America had few options.
An increasing number of businesses need access to broadband solutions to be competitive and those working from home while enjoying life in the “country” want the same amenities as their city-based counterparts.
According to this Venture Beat report, serving the underserved or unserved can ensure more Americans have access to new opportunities and better information throughout the world. And, thanks to a $300 million subsidy from the U.S. government, that access to broadband solutions may get to more people in remote areas of the country – finally.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) last Wednesday announced that this significant sum of money would be funneled to the Connect America Fund, a program designed to bring broadband solutions to almost half a million rural homes and businesses that currently have no access to the Internet at all.
U.S. telecommunications companies will also benefit as they will be paid to extend services out to areas that proved too costly in the past. Companies within the affected areas have three months to decide if they will participate in the new CAF initiative, or focus their efforts on more lucrative opportunities.
Why not just jump right on board with guaranteed revenue? This subsidy has strings attached. Telecoms will have to commit to robust plans for network build-outs, which will likely require their own investment dollars to complete. Depending upon their location, this may or may not be a sound investment.
According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (News - Alert), the cash infusion is a “once-in-a-generation reform” of the universal service goals within the U.S. as mandated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He expects that all Americans will benefit from increased access to broadband solutions, while the global competitive of the U.S. is strengthened.
The question many may be asking is whether or not access to the Internet and broadband solutions is a human right. The United Nations labeled it as much last year in a published report: “Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states.”
Broadband solutions provider, Actelis makes public its mission to enable high-speed broadband service for communities. In fact, the company believes this access has become a barometer of a community’s ability to achieve economic success. Governments throughout the world should set aggressive targets for delivering affordable solutions for everyone to stimulate economic growth. It looks like the U.S. is on the right path.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca