Demand for Broadband in Rural Areas: Implications for Universal Access [December 9, 2019] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "Congress has a long-standing interest in ensuring access to broadband internet service in rural areas. Federal subsidies underwritten by taxes and long-distance telephone subscriber fees have injected billions of dollars into rural broadband markets over a period of decades--mostly on the supply side--in the form of grants, loans, and direct support to broadband providers. As of 2019, more than 20 million Americans still lacked broadband access. [...] This report complements separate CRS [Congressional Research Service] analyses of major federal subsidy programs on the supply side of the market by providing an analysis of demand-side issues at the nexus of infrastructure buildout and adoption. It focuses exclusively on demand for fixed broadband among rural households and small businesses. It does not address the role of schools, healthcare facilities, public libraries, and other 'community anchor institutions' as end users of broadband. However, it does include discussion of the role schools and libraries play as providers of broadband service and training to rural residents who may lack home access to the internet, and how this may affect overall household adoption behavior. It also includes discussion of broadband-enabled services, such as telemedicine and precision agriculture, which may incentivize more rural households and small businesses to adopt broadband service."
CRS Report for Congress, R46108
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/