Bloomberg: Trump’s Rural Broadband Goal Won’t Be Easy, and It’ll Be Costly

EXCERPT: “President Donald Trump has promised to expand broadband service to rural areas as part of his $1 trillion nationwide infrastructure plan. That may be easier said than done. It would take an estimated $80 billion to extend broadband to all U.S. areas that lack it, but the White House has initially proposed spending just $25 billion over 10 years on rural infrastructure needs. At the same time, policy experts disagree about how best to expand rural broadband — and what responsibility government has to subsidize it. “Our suspicion is the president’s plan won’t be sufficient,’’ said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center for Rural Affairs, a Nebraska-based non-profit that advocates for small farms. “We’re happy he’s saying it. You also have to do it, and that’s where it gets tough.’’ Only 55 percent of rural U.S. residents have access to download speeds faster than 25 megabits per second, the government’s standard for adequate service. That compares with 94 percent in urban areas, according to a 2016 Congressional Research Service report. Advocates say high-speed internet is an increasing necessity for everyday residential and business activity, and for economic growth.” FULLSTORY:

INSIGHT: Broadband 101