In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress recognized that the need for broadband in rural areas was becoming ever more critical. That law required the Chairman of the FCC, in coordination with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to submit a report describing a comprehensive rural broadband strategy to Congress. Under the statute, this strategy must include, among other matters, recommendations for improving interagency coordination of broadband policies and initiatives; for assessing broadband needs in rural areas; and for how specific federal agency programs and resources can overcome the obstacles that currently impede rural broadband deployment.
Acting Chairman Michael Copps delivered the first report to Congress on May 22, 2009. The Second Rural Broadband Report was delivered on June 2011.
Overview of Recommendations:
- Coordinate rural broadband efforts among federal agencies, Tribal, state and local governments, and community groups and individuals
- Streamline and improve existing federal programs
- Promote efficient use of government funds and resources
- Coordinate program criteria|
- Improve government web sites
- Assess rural broadband needs