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Telecommunications Service in Rural America

The FCC has taken numerous actions to ensure that consumers in rural areas have access to basic telecommunication services and to encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunication services to rural communities. Documents related to this effort are listed below.

Rural Health Care Pilot Program


Expanding Telecommunications Access in Indian Country

Lands of Opportunity: Bringing Telecommunications Services to Rural Communities


Increasing Telephone Service in Indian Country

The FCC’s Universal Service Program for Rural Health Care Providers

Related Documents

Bringing Broadband To Rural America: Update to Report on Rural Broadband Strategy.
Word | Acrobat

Chairman Genachowski's Remarks, National Rural Education Technology Summit, National Museum of the American Indian.
Remarks: Word | Acrobat

FCC Approves Frontier-Verizon Transaction to Significantly Expand Broadband in Rural America.
New Release: Word | Acrobat
Order: Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps & Clyburn Joint Statement: Word | Acrobat

Senate Confirmation of Jonathan Adelstein as Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service.
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat

FCC Commences First-Come, First-Served Digital Licensing for Rural LPTV and TV Translators Beginning August 25, 2009 and for Nationwide LPTV and TV Translator Services Beginning January 25, 2010.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

Commission Seeks Comment on Procedures to Encourage Radio Service to Rural and Tribal Communities.
NPRM: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat

Acting Chairman Copps' Statement on the Nomination of Commissioner Adelstein to be Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service.
Word | Acrobat

Commissioner McDowell's Statement on the Nomination of Commissioner Adelstein to be Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service.
Word | Acrobat

Vilsack, Copps and Wade Kick Off American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Broadband Initiative.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat

Bureaus Establish Comment Date for Report on Rural Broadband Strategy.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

FCC and USDA to Conduct Educational Workshops on Rural Broadband in Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

FCC and USDA to Conduct Regional Educational Workshops on Rural Broadband During 2008.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

FCC and USDA Launch Web Site Focused on Rural Broadband Opportunities.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

FCC Releases Agenda for January 31, 2008, DTV Consumer Education Workshop Focusing on Consumers in Rural Areas and on Tribal Lands.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

Data Collection

Local Telephone Competition. These reports provide information on the state of competition for local telecommunications services and present summary statistics of data that incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers, and mobile wireless telephone service providers, file twice a year on FCC Form 477.

High-Speed Services for Internet Access. This report provides summary statistics of data that facilities-based providers of high-speed services file twice a year on FCC Form 477.

Reference Book of Rates, Price Indices, and Household Expenditures for Telephone Service. This annual report presents historical and current information on local and long distance telephone rates. In addition, telephone price indices and expenditures on telephone service, collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are presented.

Related Sites

Problems with Long Distance or Wireless Calling to Rural Areas

Contracting Opportunities

Rural Health Care Pilot Program

Broadband Opportunities for Rural America This website is an online resource for those in rural America looking to bring the benefits of broadband services to their communities. This web site makes available the expertise and resources of the FCC and USDA in a single, easily-accessible location and user-friendly format. The site provides information on the different technology platforms that can be used to provide broadband service, how to access spectrum necessary for delivery of wireless broadband services, government funding for broadband services, relevant FCC and USDA proceedings and initiatives, and data on broadband deployment.

The Rural Development Telecommunications Programs at the USDA offer a wide array of Loan and Grant programs designed specifically to facilitate the construction and deployment of advanced, high-speed telecommunications and data networks in rural America. Grants and Loans are available for the improvement and construction of broadband networks and facilities to provide rural America with the infrastructure that allows rural residents to live locally and compete globally! Funding is available for entities to provide high-speed Internet access and data services and for educational and health care institutions to provide distance learning and telemedicine services.

Click to learn more about these exciting Rural Development programs and to obtain information on communities being served or proposed to be served by the Rural Development Broadband Grant and Loan Programs.

The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau offers information about Rural Telecommunications issues such as Universal Service to High-Cost Areas, Rural Health Care, Tribal Initiates, High-Speed Internet Access, Low Income Assistance, and Local Competition.

The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology offers information about the impact of unlicensed technology and related efforts on the rural community.

The FCC's International Bureau offers a listing of rulemakings concerning satellite service to rural areas. The FCC's International Bureau licenses U.S. commercial satellites and satellite earth stations. Since satellite signals can cover large portions of the U.S. or may even cover all portions of the U.S., they are able to provide services to isolated rural areas that may not receive service via terrestrial wireless or even terrestrial cable or wireline services.

FCC Tribal Initiatives

Rural Health Care Providers

Universal Service Fund


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