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Broadband

Increased Wellness And Economic Return Of Universal Broadband

The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI) in partnership with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance Community Broadband Networks initiative present Increased Wellness and Economic Return of Universal Broadband Infrastructure: A Telehealth Case Study of Ten Southern Rural Counties. As the title suggests, the report has particular relevance for Black women living in rural broadband deserts, detailing how universal, affordable, broadband infrastructure would return $43 million per year using telehealth across 10 counties in the Black Belt of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. In addition to demonstrating how robust broadband infrastructure could pay for itself in short order, the report highlights how investments in broadband would open up untold access to healthcare, educational opportunities, economic development, community engagement, and other benefits along the way.

Five Rural Maine Towns Form Coalition For Affordable Broadband

Maine - Spurred to action by inadequate high-speed Internet service as the pandemic besieged their communities, local officials and citizen volunteers in five rural Maine towns formed the Southwestern Waldo County Broadband Coalition (SWCBC) in an effort to bring ubiquitous and affordable broadband to its portion of Waldo County. Two years later, the SWCBC is close to securing a major victory for local Internet choice in the face of a well-funded opposition campaign sweeping the Pine Tree State as the Big Telecom lobby and its allies try to undermine the very idea of publicly-owned, locally-controlled broadband networks in Maine and elsewhere. The five SWCBC towns clustered about 30 miles east of Augusta – home to approximately 5,600 Mainers – are looking to create what is known as a Broadband Utility District (BUD).

2022 Brings Hope For State And Local Broadband Progress

If 2020 convinced the country that broadband for all Americans is essential, then 2021 underscored a reality of life: Goals often require longer timelines than we’d prefer. To put it another way, a worldwide emergency helped the U.S. recognize the importance of having ubiquitous high-speed Internet, and now we’re playing catch-up. There’s no quick and clean fix, which is a clunky pill to swallow for millions of people who contend with substandard or nonexistent connectivity as a new world of hybrid education, remote work, online services and telehealth takes over. The urgency for wider access to high-speed Internet has been palpable this year. The federal government has ramped up its focus on the issue.
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