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Rural Health
News by Topic: Broadband

USDA Partners with Communities to Bring High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity Infrastructure to Rural Areas
Nov 13, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the investment of $91 million for 19 projects funded through the Telecommunications Programs. The projects aim to improve e-Connectivity for more than 27,000 businesses and households in rural communities in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Better Broadband Needed to Meet Telehealth Needs, USDA Report Warns
Nov 8, 2018 - Summarizes a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which found that rural residents lagged behind urban residents in various types of telehealth usage. It also found that in order to meet future telehealth demand, wider availability of high-quality broadband would be necessary.
Source: Healthcare Dive
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NTIA: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Broadband Availability Data Federal Register
Oct 25, 2018 - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is seeking comment on their intent to collect information on the level of broadband services available at a more granular level than just at the Census block level as is currently being done. This will allow for more accurate reporting of broadband availability, especially in rural areas where Census blocks are large or in locations where only small pockets within the Census block have broadband services. Comments on the change are due by December 24, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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A Rural Colorado Coal County Was Struggling. Then A Tech Company Brought New Jobs
Oct 19, 2018 - Discusses the positive impact of a local company working to expand broadband and hiring laid off coal miners in a rural Colorado town. Not only did it prevent many miners from having to leave the town, it improved the broadband infrastructure of the town, bringing in newcomers and providing more economic opportunity for existing residents.
Source: NPR
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County Teams with Co-op to Bring Telemedicine to Veterans
Oct 15, 2018 - Describes a collaboration between a rural Kentucky county's library, a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital, and a rural telecom cooperative to offer medical services to veterans using telemedicine. The service, called the "Virtual Living Room," allows veterans to use the library's computers and broadband internet, provided by the co-op, to connect with their doctors at the VA hospital.
Source: National Association of Counties
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FCC: Accelerating Wireless and Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment Federal Register
Oct 15, 2018 - Summary of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order on wireless and broadband deployment. Includes guidance and rules to streamline the wireless infrastructure siting review process and identifies specific fee levels for the deployment of Small Wireless Facilities, among other things.
Source: Federal Register
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FCC Enables Alaska Carrier to Receive $78M in Rural Health Care Funding
Oct 10, 2018 - Announcement from the Federal Communications Commission approving nearly $78 million in funding through the Rural Health Care Program to support telecommunication services in Alaska. The Rural Health Care program allows rural healthcare providers to pay the same rate for the services as their urban counterparts, a rate that is typically less than they would normally have to pay.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
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Microsoft's Rural Access Program Enters Next Phase in Maine
Oct 10, 2018 - Highlights the next phase of Microsoft's Airband Initiative in Maine. The program provides funding to local internet service providers to expand broadband access to rural and hard to reach communities using alternate technologies like TV White Space and fixed fiber. Microsoft's ultimate goal is to increase access to telehealth services and to close the rural internet gap in the U.S. by July 2022.
Source: Mainebiz
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31 Percent of Rural Households Lack Access to Broadband Internet, According to White Paper
Oct 9, 2018 - A recent report from the Center for Rural Affairs shows that 31% of rural and 35% of tribal households still lack access to broadband services. The report also highlights challenges with broadband mapping resulting in inaccurate reporting of access.
Source: Center for Rural Affairs
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Hoeven Convenes Hearing To Examine Broadband Internet And Other Telecommunications Access On Tribal Lands
Oct 3, 2018 - Discusses the convening of an oversight hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to examine reports from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on broadband internet and other telecommunications access issues on tribal lands. As of December 2016, 35.4% of tribal residents lacked access to fixed broadband services, compared to 7.7% of the general population. Includes links to the reports as well as a video of the hearing.
Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
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