The Progress Of The National Broadband Stimulus

April 6th, 2016

The National Broadband stimulus was developed for those communities identified to be at a disadvantage where it came to internet service. Funded by grants for the last three years, the stimulus is dedicated to the upgrading of existing networks, along with public internet access improvement and the creation of new networks. The stimulus has received over three billion dollars since it was created, but the numbers are showing that less progress has been made than initially suspected. There is fast development of broadband structure occurring, but the national internet speed goals were not being met by approximately 97% of United States counties.

Fiber optic connections were also enjoying rapid growth, but the high costs to install fiber lines remained the same. Those in rural areas are reporting that their connections are as much as twenty five percent slower than the speeds that users in urban areas experience. This is alarming, as the many benefits of having access, including more opportunities for assistance in times of emergency and more outlets for finding work and enhancing education are also not available to these rural communities. It was determined that the future path of the broadband stimulus desperately needs clarification in order to see a higher number of internet connections occur.

An FCC pilot program which brought heath care providers together to create networks for industry professionals was wildly successful. Research revealed that, when there is a reliable internet infrastructure in place that those in health care will take advantage of it and connect area facilities. It also revealed that those professionals in areas without internet service were able to receive the needed connection from service providers who were persuaded to engage in network expansion. Many benefits have resulted from this program, including a lower cost to patients as a result of access to telemedicine being available.