Our Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher has penned an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch on the power of mobile broadband to connect rural communities to the world. Here’s a taste:
For rural America, broadband is the bridge to our nation’s economic mainstream, but of today’s 20 percent of the national population that lacks broadband access, the vast majority live in rural areas. Bringing high-speed Internet access to rural-broadband have-nots is today’s greatest telecommunications policy challenge.
Now a single means of meeting that challenge is at hand. AT&T has pledged that its merger with T-Mobile will result in broadband reaching more than 97 percent of the population within six years, connecting 55 million Americans who lack the service today. President Obama has set a national goal of universal broadband deployment, defined as reaching 98 percent of our population, within five years. Now one company alone, with approval of the pending merger, will almost enable that goal to be met, leaving a far smaller gap to be filled with government grants and loans and other private investment.
Check out the full op-ed at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.