Government Accountability Office

Broadband Needs of Rural Small Businesses and Federal Programs to Support Them

In a 2021 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that some small businesses lack access to broadband, but may benefit from federal programs that fund deployment in rural areas. Small businesses can likely reap the benefits of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) and the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) funding to expand broadband deployment.

Breaking Down Barriers to Broadband Access

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the effects of the digital divide. Those with broadband access could work, attend school, shop, and be seen by their doctors without leaving home, and those without sufficient access could not. Federal efforts to provide broadband access to all span multiple presidential administrations. Here, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) explores its work about some of the ongoing challenges to achieving the goal of closing the digital divide. The GAO recommends synchronizing federal efforts through a national broadband strategy.