Aug. 30, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Garfinkel and Campbell: Growing Broadband, on a Country Road

For those small communities without broadband expertise, outside consultants can be effective in rapidly increasing the expertise needed to develop these regional corporations and to pursue USF grant funds. Once the broadband corporation is formed, it can be managed locally or outsourced or run through a hybrid approach.

Indian country and rural areas nationally can open up many new areas of development and promote education and safety with access to broadband. From traditionally underserved tribal lands to those areas that have simply been left behind by the major providers, mobile broadband is an economic and social game-changer. Broadband has become an essential part of both urban and rural infrastructure ó as critical as water, sewer and energy infrastructure.

Small businesses looking to establish in a rural area still want to sell their goods and services nationally. Businesses large and small, from manufacturers to sole practitioners, rely on high-speed Internet to compete in the global marketplace. The necessary telecommunications infrastructure is essential to drawing businesses to rural areas as well as to retain growing entities that must have broadband to expand.

If youíre in a remote area, donít hold your breath waiting for a big broadband vendor to come to you. Congress has already created the tools in conjunction with the FCC to promote data coverage, but individual senators and representatives can make a difference by helping their local communities understand how to use these tools. Make a plan and build your way to the current state and future of telecommunications.

Andrew Garfinkel is a principal at Aronnax Public Strategies LLC. V. Noah Campbell is managing member, Radio Spectrum Group LLC.

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