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.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.