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Blog Posts by Sharon Gillett, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau and Rick Kaplan, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

Expanding Broadband and Protecting Voice Service in Rural America

by Sharon Gillett, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau and Rick Kaplan, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
February 8, 2012

Sharon Gillett

Improving communications in rural America has always been a focus for the FCC, and the primary vehicle to achieve that goal has been the Universal Service Fund.  Despite great strides in this arena, one area where rural America still lagged the rest of the country was access to broadband.  Eighteen million Americans still have no high-speed Internet, and millions live, work, and travel in areas without mobile broadband coverage.  To address this gap, we took on the massive, once-in-a-generation task of retooling our rural subsidy system, creating the Connect America Fund to finish the job of connecting rural America to broadband, while bringing accountability and fiscal responsibility to programs that for too long lacked both.  We’re moving forward aggressively to implement these important changes.

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