NTCA Offers Recommendations to Promote Broadband Adoption, Grow Smart Rural Communities

For Immediate Release
Contact: Hillary Crowder, 703-351-2086, hcrowder@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (April 9, 2014) – While the number of American adults who have broadband at home has grown exponentially over the past 13 years, three in 10 American adults are still not using these services, according to a white paper released today by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. 

The paper, “Conquering the Challenges of Broadband Adoption,” provides recommendations on how to promote broadband adoption through continued research; development of best practices and standards that can be shared between providers, advocates and policy-makers; coordination among various entities to ensure money is spent properly; and public encouragement of broadband adoption. It also provides a snapshot of broadband deployment efforts in the United States, finding that broadband availability continues to approach ubiquity—albeit at a slow pace.

NTCA Economist Rick Schadelbauer, the paper’s author, presented its findings at a roundtable discussion hosted by the association’s Smart Rural Community initiative today in Washington, D.C. The event featured a keynote address by FCC Special Counsel for External Affairs Gigi Sohn. 

During a presentation to roundtable participants, Schadelbauer said increasing the number of Americans taking advantage of Internet access will be a benefit to society as a whole.

“One of the more challenging realities of striving for ubiquitous broadband adoption is that the final third of the population will be the hardest to reach. This remaining group of nonadopters tends to be older, less educated and at lower income levels than those who have already embraced the online world,” Schadelbauer said. “Yet, in many ways these are the very segments of society that have the most to gain from the Internet, whether through obtaining higher-quality health care or pursuing a more rewarding job.” 

The full white paper is available here.

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.