For many rural folks, wireless internet access is but a dream. It today’s fast-paced world of instant updates and live videos, being without internet access puts you at an automatic disadvantage. Good news could be around the corner for rural Americans. The Rural & Agriculture Council of America applauds the announcement from The White House and FCC to invest in improving next generation connectivity and access for rural Americans and 5G access.
Under the FCC’s 5G Fast Plan, President Trump and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai announced the largest commercial spectrum auction in FCC history, freeing up more airwaves for the private sector to enhance their quality of service and lay the foundation for networks of the future.
According to the White House fact sheet, “To ensure rural America is not left behind, the FCC aims to create a new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund that will extend high-speed broadband to 4 million homes and small businesses.”
Trump empasized the importance of America leading the way to 5G access and bridging the gap for rural America. “5G will be as much as 100 times faster than the current 4G cellular networks. It will transform the way our citizens work, learn, communicate, and travel. It will make American farms more productive, American manufacturing more competitive, and American healthcare better and more accessible.”
Trump continued, “We cannot allow any other country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future. We are leading by so much in so many different industries of that type, and we just can’t let that happen. The race to 5G is a race America must win.”
Pai said, “5G will improve Americans’ lives in so many ways, from precision agriculture, to smart transportation networks, to telemedicine, and more.” Paid continued, “These next-generation networks will bring greater economic opportunity to America’s heartland, including some of the great jobs building infrastructure, and they will help support future 5G technologies.”
Rural & Agriculture Council of America Vice President Chris Skorupa said, “Their announcement of a $20.4 billion ‘Rural Digital Opportunity Fund’ will help underserved areas’ access to broadband over the next 10 years through a series of incentives intended to stimulate private sector competition and investment in much-needed broadband infrastructure.”
“These efforts demonstrate that private sector competition, not government nationalization of networks, is the best path forward to stimulating local economies and bridging the digital divide in rural communities across America.”