FreePress

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Moira Vahey, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x31

Broadband Is Critical Infrastructure for Rural America

USDA Study Shows Importance of Closing the Digital Divide

WASHINGTON - According to a new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
rural counties on the wrong side of the digital divide are at a major
economic disadvantage compared to rural counties with high-speed
Internet. The study shows that counties with broadband have stronger
economic and employment growth than unserved rural areas do.

Derek Turner, research director at Free Press, issued the following statement:

"The USDA study adds more weight to the overwhelming evidence that
broadband is becoming critical infrastructure and driving the economy
throughout America. Closing the rural digital divide should be a top
priority for policymakers, who must ensure that economic stimulus funds
reach the rural areas that need them the most. We must also finally
tackle the long-needed reform of the Universal Service Fund. Policies
that will foster a world-class broadband infrastructure for all
Americans are essential to the future of rural America."

Read the USDA's new report, "Broadband Internet's Value for
Rural America": http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err78/

Read more about policy solutions for reforming the Universal Service
Fund in the Free Press report "America's Broadband Problem: Access": http://freepress.net/files/changingmedia-chap5.pdf

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

Share This Article

More in: