Kristian Stout on Rural Broadband
ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was interviewed by RFD-TV for a story item about the challenges involved in connecting rural areas to broadband internet.
One of the threats that could affect the efficacy of this program could be different state authorities not necessarily focusing on people who have traditionally been very difficult to connect to the internet but looking at lower hanging fruit that it’s easier to connect, like people who
might have slower than extremely fast but are faster than what we consider nonexistent broadband service. There are a number of hurdles that have just traditionally existed everywhere in the United States for broadband deployment. These include things like municipal permitting, getting rights of way, and then one of the largest drivers cost is access to utility poles across the United States. There are some more complicated problems that go into accessing these poles around whether they’re privately-owned or whether they’re owned by municipalities and co-ops, which can easily explode costs for a particular deployment and make it so that the money that the federal government is directing to reach these remote areas is not being fully-used to reach these people but is instead being wasted.