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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

 

Yankee Group report on municipal access to broadband

"Municipalities, schools and hospitals have realized significant benefits from access to global information. Broadband proves valuable in areas such as homeland security, distance learning and telehealth. However, the Yankee Group report, 'Municipalities, Schools and Hospitals Reap Broadband's Benefits,' finds many areas still have poor access to information infrastructure and broadband services.

"'The emergence of the Internet can help narrow the information gap between rich and poor, and urban and rural areas. The public sector's growing interest in broadband communications is driven by a desire to make information available everywhere,' says Lindsay Schroth, Yankee Group Broadband Access Technologies analyst. 'The public sector buys most of its telecommunications services from incumbents, but must look for cheaper and broader alternatives, such as satellite, broadband wireless and fiber.'"

"Recognizing that Internet access can deliver economic, educational and security advantages, municipalities continue trying to make broadband available to local areas. Despite private-sector opposition, local governments continue searching for ways to bring broadband to all businesses, homes and government-owned facilities."

"During the past five years, broadband communications has become critical to education. The U.S. Department of Education reported in 2001 that 99 percent of public schools had Internet access. Whether used for online classes, Internet-based homework assignments, global research, or distance learning, most schools use the Internet to improve fundamental programs."

"The FCC determined that rural healthcare providers could pay reduced rates on telecommunications services as part of the universal services law. The program made up to $400 million available annually so rural healthcare providers can pay prices similar to urban providers for telecommunications services."



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