The Federal Communications Commission and the Lifeline Program are working hard to ensure that Americans living in rural communities are able to receive affordable access to broadband.
It is known that 80% of American households are currently not connected to the internet live in rural communities. Because of lack of infrastructure in the rural areas, there are parts of the USA that are literally living in the dark ages.
The FCC and government are working on creating the Connect America Fund to subsidize private broadband providers in rural regions so that the residents of the areas can enjoy affordable broadband service. The proposals are currently in the financial assessment phase and are trying to ascertain exactly how much funding will be needed to launch this universal program.
The model is working hard to take into consideration many variables. They do not want to provide subsidies in blocks of rural areas where other private providers are already providing broadband. They also want to make sure that they are not providing subsidies to one company, but not another company in the same region. As a result, the meetings have churned out a large showcasing the rural areas in the United States that currently require affordable broadband service plus a map that shows the locations of unsubsidized broadband providers in order to figure out the best way to launch Connect America.
This is a long process that requires many different models and scenarios to ensure that there are few growing pains when the program finally launches. Broadband access to the 19 million American households that are currently without access is an important part of closing the digital divide in the United States.
The modern world has made it almost impossible to live without access to the internet. This Connect America program, started by the FCC and Lifeline, is trying to address that divide. In a world that is moving towards being an online community, a large population left behind is a disadvantage for that population, and the whole country. To lose that much potential employment hours because those citizens could not afford access to the internet would be a shame. The FCC recognizes that and Connect America is the project that is being created to address it.