Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 8:50am
ADVOCATES CALL FOR MORE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS
[SOURCE: Associated Press]
Rural advocacy groups and educators told two members of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday that a lack of high-speed Internet is hurting Arkansas’ Delta and other poor regions trying to lift their low economic and academic rankings. The FCC members listened as advocates and Internet service providers called for more federal assistance in giving rural areas access to broadband Internet. “We have not successfully transititioned into the information age, and I would contend a lot of that is because we’re not delivering broadband to our people,” said Rex Nelson, alternate federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. “Having access to broadband in even the most rural areas of our country is as important as getting that electricity to them and air conditioning to them back in the 1940s and the 1950s.” Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark) invited commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps to a special hearing at the Central Arkansas Library System’s main library in downtown Little Rock. He said afterward the Universal Service Fund is one way more high-speed Internet access could be offered.
* Arkansas Librarian Laments State of Rural Broadband at Senate Hearing
* Copps: The State of Broadband
[SOURCE: Federal Communications Commission]
Where are we heading in this still-new Twenty-first century and what role are telecommunications going to play in shaping our future? My answer to that is that the future will belong to those who learn best how to deploy all these new technologies, products and services. My answer is we have to get this right for America. And part of my answer, unfortunately, is that right now we're not where we need to be. Oh, I know we all have lots of new gizmos and gadgets and that advanced telecommunications like broadband have brought us some pretty fundamental changes, including right here in Arkansas. But I also know that other countries are eating our lunch in building their communications infrastructures and I believe that America's lack of a concerted national strategy to get back in the lead is tantamount to playing Russian roulette with our future. Let me begin by saying that my overriding objective since going to the FCC in 2001 has been to bring the best, most accessible and cost-effective communications system in the world to all of our people-and I mean all of our people. We can't leave anybody behind in this great new age of high-speed communications. That means those who live in rural America, those who live in the inner city and those who live on tribal lands; it means not just the affluent and privileged, but those who are economically disadvantaged and those with disabilities. Each and every citizen of this great country should have access to the wonders of communications. I'm not talking about doing all these people some kind of feel-good, do-gooder favor by including them; I'm talking about doing America a favor. I'm talking about making certain our citizens can compete here at home and around the world with those who are already using broadband in all aspects of their lives.
* Adelstein: The State of Broadband
[SOURCE: Federal Communications Commission]
We are only scratching the surface of the opportunities that broadband can bring. We stand at the threshold of a revolution in the applications that will ride over broadband infrastructure. By expanding the reach of advanced communications technologies, we can bring new hope to many communities where it is in short supply.... I am increasingly concerned that we have failed to keep pace with our global competitors over the past few years. Each year, we slip further down the regular rankings of broadband penetration. While some have protested the international broadband penetration rankings, the fact is the U.S. has dropped year-after-year. This downward trend and the lack of broadband value illustrate the sobering point that when it comes to giving our citizens affordable access to state-of the-art communications, the U.S. has fallen behind its global competitors.
- Many rural areas still without high-speed, affordable Internet
- What A Difference A Year Makes
- Feds repair, improve rural broadband
- USDA Broadband Stimulus Awards for 4 States
- Assessing Broadband in America
- Bypassing own task force, Pawlenty to hand broadband stimulus funds to telecoms
- FCC plan to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas could slow it down
- Trying to speed up Internet for all
- Rural Broadband Access: There’s an “APPalachian” for That!
- New York grants another $25M for high-speed Internet
- GOP sees disconnect between universal phone, healthcare coverage
- Ten States Where The Internet Is Too Slow
- FCC Assessing High-Speed Internet Access
- Stimulus funding gives boost to broadband
- Funding uncertainty puts rural Internet plans in jeopardy