Our own Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher recently talked to Scientific American about how Washington gridlock is delaying high-speed broadband in rural parts of the country. An excerpt:
What are the main difficulties in delivering broadband to remote rural locations?
Rural areas are characterized by their challenging—often mountainous—terrain and long distances between thinly populated places. The costs of deploying fiber-optic (so-called “middle mile”) broadband services are far greater than they would be to deploy [them] in urban centers, and when you do reach a community you may not have a lot of subscribers to pay for the service. Oftentimes in those rural areas—the Appalachian region, generally in the middle West and in smaller towns nationwide—the annual income is below the national average and people are struggling. Even if you have 100 percent of the people in an area subscribe to the service, you might still find it challenging to justify the cost of stringing lines across those distances.
You can check out the full interview, which touches on government regulations and the potential to deliver broadband over power lines, over at Scientific American.