President Trump signed an executive order on January 8th, regarding increased access to broadband in rural America. The purpose of this order is to increase the access of broadband.This will allow these rural areas to better compete with their urban counterparts. The order will instruct the General Services Administration to provide support to agencies within a 6-month timeline and will come at a an estimated cost of $8 billion. In rural areas, high-cost, low-density challenges make it financially unfeasible for many corporations to invest in these locations.
Urban and suburban populations have boomed drastically while rural populations remain stagnant. Integrating technological innovation into American farms will enhance the quality of agricultural output to the whole nation and increase the sustainable use of natural resources which will ultimately improve the efficiency of the American farmer. E-connectivity, a tool that enables increased productivity in farms, factories, forests and small businesses, will be fundamental for economic development in rural America and will be a significant improvement toward quality of life. This connectivity would allow medical, educational and business services to travel virtually to remote areas and further enrich the lives of rural citizens.
After the President signed the executive orders to improve broadband infrastructure members of the Communications and Technology introduced four resolution layouts towards the principles for broadband expansion nationwide. These include:
- Prioritizing infrastructure funding to areas that are currently unserved
- Easing the regulatory process
- Ensuring coordination among all levels of government
- Establishing clear, consistent rules regardless of broadband technology
The first paragraph of the executive order states that: “Americans need access to reliable, affordable broadband internet services to succeed in today’s information-driven, global economy. Currently, too many American citizens and businesses still lack access to this basic tool of modern economic connectivity. The problem is particularly acute in rural American, and it hinders the ability of rural American communities to increase economic prosperity; attract new businesses; enhance job growth; extend the reach of affordable, high-quality healthcare; enrich student learning with digital tools; and facilitate access to the digital marketplace.”