Obama Administration Releases Report, Highlights Rural Broadband Expansion

Obama Administration Releases Report, Highlights Rural Broadband Expansion


The White House Rural Council released the report Jobs and Economic Security in Rural America which highlighted the fact that many rural communities “have lower incomes, higher poverty rates, worse health outcomes, and lower educational attainment than urban and suburban areas.”  Highlighted was the expansion of broadband access to over “7 million rural Americans, including 3 million rural households and over 350,000 rural businesses” in the August 2011 report.

To combat the negative factors presented, the Council presented its findings and made specific suggestions on ways to address these issues.

Also, in a letter included in the report, US Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack noted that the report listed “vital strategies that can and will be used to seize those opportunities and tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our rural communities.”

Finally, it included a summary of some administration accomplishments already made that would enhance opportunities for rural Americans:

  • Through the USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, more than 2,500 healthcare and educational facilities have received access to distance learning and telemedicine services.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has invested $4.5 million to support 17 Telehealth Network grantees, which provided over 17,000 teleconsultations to patients in isolated areas across 207 locations.
  • As a result of USDA’s Broadband Initiative Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 2.8 million households will have new or improved broadband services, reaching nearly 7 million people and 364,000 businesses across more than 300,000 square miles.
  • The U.S. Chief Technology Officer launched the “Text 4 Baby” program to use mobile technologies to provide healthcare information to expecting and new parents. The service now has more than 135,000 subscribers.
  • The SBA / SCORE Broadband Initiative helps small businesses accelerate growth through the use of broadband technologies, many of which are in rural communities. To date, its online resources have been leveraged by over 11,000 small businesses.

The entire report can be accessed on the White House’s website.


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Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt represents small, women, and minority owned business and technology companies at The Ghatt Law Group LLC, the nations’ first communications law firm owned by women and minorities. She's won landmark cases on behalf of her clients which include national civil rights and public interest organizations. In addition to actively authoring several blogs, being a radio show host and sitting on the boards of three non-profits, she is a tech junkie who has been developing online web content since the very early years of the Internet, 1991 to be precise! Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks, on her blog, Jenebaspeaks, which covers the intersection of politics and technology or on her Politics of Raising Children blog at The Washington Times Communities section. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.


  1. How government giveaways (that costs taxpayers millions) build a sense of entitlement in our minority community. Do folks in the boonies without cell service need 'how to take care of your baby' texts?
    How about schools that perform?
    How about opportunities to work & learn compete?
    How about not legalizing millions of illegals who we now have to compete with in the job market?
    This government just doesn't work any more. We need jobs.

  2. Thank you for highlighting this report. Connecting EVERY American to the Internet via broadband should be a top goal for the president, Congress, and other stakeholders in the comm industry. Increasing broadband adoption will result in enormous economic gains.

  3. This White House report is quite eye-opening; thanks for sharing it with us. With the immense amount of news and information available these days, many substantive reports are lost in the shuffle. Politic365 always comes through for me though, don't know what I'd do without it… or broadband in general!