Rural Broadband: Are We There Yet?

Richard Bennett May 31, 2011
May 31, 2011
New deployments of rural broadband have shifted from wireline technologies to 3G and 4G mobile broadband.

The FCC’s 2011 Broadband Competition Report finds that wireline broadband deployment to rural America has stalled, while mobile broadband deployment is accelerating across the entire country. The conclusion that leaps from the report is that we’ve reached a saturation point for wireline broadband deployment, but that continued investment in mobile broadband makes this relatively unimportant. It appears that all of the markets that can sustain wireline broadband without subsidies have been served, and it will be up to other technologies – such as 4G mobile broadband and satellite – to provide broadband service to the rest of rural America. Mobile broadband is advancing at a rapid rate in terms of both performance and penetration.