Monday, February 04, 2008

FCC, USDA launch one-stop site for broadband info

Having a hard time figuring out the complexities of high-speed Internet access in rural areas? Well, the federal government is here to help you. Really. In the form of two agencies that rarely have much to do with one another. The Federal Communications Commission, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, has launched a Web site about broadband services that "makes available the expertise and resources of the FCC and USDA in a single, easily-accessible location and user-friendly format," reports Government Technology.

"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," GT reports. The site also has "instructions on how to locate companies already licensed to provide wireless services in or near specific rural communities, as well as helpful links to other government and private resources related to encouraging broadband opportunities in rural America."

Why is broadband important? "Broadband technology is a key driver of economic growth," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin says on the site's home page. "The ability to share increasing amounts of information, at greater and greater speeds, increases productivity, facilitates interstate commerce, and helps drive innovation. But perhaps most important, broadband has the potential to affect almost every aspect of our lives."

No comments: