Rural America is remaining a region of the broadband have-nots. Thousands of the smallest communities and remote areas outside of the towns either lack broadband or have a single service that can be costly and offer relatively low speeds, inadequate for modern business demands. The combination of T-Mobileís and AT&Tís wireless spectrum will fill that gap and bring to rural areas a truly robust service, spanning mountains that make wired infrastructures cost prohibitive.
President Barack Obama has set a national goal of 98 percent of all Americans having access to broadband within five years. The AT&T and T-Mobile merger standing alone will virtually achieve that goal.
I have a rural perspective. I devoted most of my Congressional career to the pursuit of rural opportunity through the use of the latest information technologies in remote regions. Today, we are poised to take the next transformative step, bringing broadband to the hardest to serve communities, enabling them at last to achieve their long-held quality-of-life goals, improving the lives of rural residents and bettering the entire nation, which will benefit through truly national connectivity.
Former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) is honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance.
James Jones, communications director for DC Vote, tapes a "DC Constituents Service Day" sign on the wall as he stands with other DC residents outside of Rep. Andy Harris's office on Capitol Hill to protest Harris' actions against D.C.'s marijuana laws on Thursday, July 24, 2014. DC Vote encouraged DC residents to bring their complaints about city services to the Maryland congressman.