January 20, 2016

Broadband Challenges Remain for Rural Communities

Internet access is essential to all elements of social participation, and it can have a particularly positive impact on rural communities. In an article published in Law360, FaegreBD Consulting principal Andy Ehrlich and director Josh Andrews explained the challenges of providing rural communities with broadband access and assessed the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM), a proposed reform to how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) subsidizes companies that provide rural broadband services.

“The latest version of the FCC’s reforms for rate-of-return carriers, referred to as the Alternative Connect America Model, or A-CAM, has numerous flaws and demonstrates the weaknesses of a one-size-fits-all model,” the article said. “[Policymakers] should be aware that this FCC rule could have a profound impact on the health of a state’s small, rural telecommunications provider industry as well as the availability and affordability of the telecommunications and broadband services that are provided to rural small businesses in towns and homes in America today.”

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