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FCC, Dept. of Ag. Release Rural Broadband Update

If you've followed us during the past 16 months or so, you've read about the Federal Communication Commission's plans to improve access to broadband Internet throughout the nation, and particularly in rural areas, at least as it relates to education.

Now the FCC has teamed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to release an update to its rural broadband strategy that chronicles federal action during the past two years to increase broadband access across all sectors of rural life.

The report, which was released to Congress Wednesday, addresses broadband projects over a wide spectrum, and after a careful reading should help you get a sense of where education endeavors fit. Of the $8 billion the FCC says has been invested into federal projects to increase broadband access, $71 million of it has been funneled to distance learning and telemedicine grants, though certainly there are a range of other investments—including $3.5 million in stimulus funding—that could also effect educational endeavors.

The report was submitted to Congress with the intention of underscoring the need to continue to invest federal funds in broadband initiatives, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The National Broadband Map released early this year also underscores that need.

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