Individuals who primarily Reside in a Rural Area

New Mexico Broadband Director Talks Bid-Worthy Project Areas, Technology Mix

Many state broadband directors are keeping their fingers crossed that all the areas eligible for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program rural broadband funding receive bids. But it’s a particularly big challenge for New Mexico, as the state’s broadband director Drew Lovelace explained. “New Mexico hits a trifecta of challenges in geography, size, and rurality. A lot of states have one or two of these, we have all three,” said Lovelace. New Mexico is the fifth largest state in land mass, but only 36th in population.

Reps. Kelly, Thompson, Smith introduce legislation to expand Americans' telehealth options

Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Adrian Smith (R-NE)  introduced H.R. 8151, bipartisan legislation that would permanently expand the list of practitioners eligible who provide telehealth services to include qualified physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and audiologists. Currently, these practitioners do not have permanent authorization to deliver electronic or virtual care to their patients. Families have come to rely on telehealth since the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Pandemic Changed Broadband

 There are several important changes to the broadband industry that came out of our collective pandemic experience.

Rep Murphy Reintroduces Bill to Permanently Expand Access to Telehealth Services for Rural America

Reps Greg Murphy (R-NC-3), Michael Burgess (R-TX-26), Derrick Van Orden (R-WI-03), and Troy Nehls (R-TX-22) reintroduced legislation to permanently extend telehealth services for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). Current Medicare telehealth flexibilities for FQHCs and RHCs, previously extended by Congress under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, expire on December 31, 2024. 

Rep. Williams Leads 20 GOP Representatives in Letter to Speaker Johnson in Support of Affordable Connectivity Program

Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY-22) led a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) in support of replenished funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP is in the process of winding down in the absence of congressional funding, and beneficiaries will completely lose their discount after May 2024. In light of the widespread, positive impact that the ACP has had on expanding access to this vital tool, the representatives urge immediate action to secure short-term funding for this program. 

Rural Broadband Advocacy in Action

The rural broadband industry has such a great success story to tell. In the face of transformative technologies, regulatory challenges and increasing competition, you have embraced that change, stayed committed and looked to close the digital divide by delivering the robust and high-quality services that you do every single day. Your commitment to sustainable networks and affordable services is what really has made rural communities fertile ground for innovation. We’ve seen that in so many ways, and this innovation contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy every single year.

Subsidizing Rural Broadband Networks

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration preparing to award over $44 billion to construct rural broadband networks. Almost by definition, these networks will be built in rural areas where it’s hard to justify a business plan where revenues generated from the grant areas are sufficient to fund the ongoing operation and eventual upgrades to any broadband networks.

Charter Returns Rural Digital Opportunity Funds in Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin

Charter Communications—through its affiliates Charter Fiberlink – Michigan LLC, Charter Fiberlink – Missouri, LLC, and Charter Fiberlink CCO, LLC—was awarded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funding to deploy gigabit-speed internet service in certain unserved areas of Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

United Communications, Middle Tennessee Electric Expand Williamson County Rural Fiber Investment To Target 8,000 Addresses

For residents in rural areas of Williamson County (TN), the wait for fiber internet service may soon be over.

Recognizing the critical need for broadband to bridge the digital divide

For urban and rural communities, the digital divide is more than just the lack of access to high-speed internet — it’s a disconnect from economic and social ties as well as opportunities in a fast-changing society. Roberto Gallardo, Purdue University’s vice president for engagement, has spent the past decade analyzing local and regional community economic development, including the use of technology. He notes that the U.S.