Despite years of effort and billions of dollars, many parts of rural America remain stubbornly unconnected to robust broadband networks, because unlike dense urban and suburban markets, widely dispersed populations in rural areas simply cannot be served profitably with conventional technologies. Thankfully, broadband likely will be included in a legislative package that aims to significantly upgrade America’s infrastructure.
But many questions remain: What are achievable goals for rural broadband infrastructure, and how much would it cost? How do we ensure limited funds are spent most effectively? What are the lessons from past and ongoing efforts to connect the unconnected? How do we reconcile a subsidy program with dynamic new broadband technologies, like low-orbit satellite services?
ITIF hosted a discussion with leading experts on how to resolve these questions and bridge the rural broadband gap once and for all.