• Rural Broadband Summit and Hearing
  • Rural Broadband Summit and Hearing
  • Rural Broadband Summit and Hearing
  • Rural Broadband Summit and Hearing
  • Rural Broadband Summit and Hearing
  • Rural Broadband Summit and Hearing


Broadband is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Affordable broadband is a building block for healthy communities. But less than half of rural adults have access to broadband at home, while two-thirds of metropolitan adults do. As the Internet becomes crucial in economics, education, and civic life, communities that are left behind pay a higher price for their lack of access.

The Center for Rural Strategies supports policies and programs that expand access to broadband for all Americans, especially those who are marginalized by geography, economics, and other circumstances. Affordable access and widespread training will help rural communities thrive and contribute to the nation's health and well-being.

Daily Yonder Stories

To bridge the digital divide, federal programs have focused on building out broadband to rural areas that don’t have connections. A new study says we...
Arizona resident Karen Fasimpaur is off the electrical grid but very much connected when it comes to the Internet. Still, living in a remote area...
When tropical storm Irene decimated parts of Vermont, a state program stepped in to ramp up digital development in response. “Never let a crisis go...

The Lack of Broadband

new report written by University of Texas – Austin researcher Sharon Strover says that rural areas that don't have broadband access will be economically crippled.

Strover gathered a panel of economists to discuss the impact of broadband deployment in rural areas. She found that while broadband access probably won't automatically create jobs for rural communities, places that lack access will be at a severe disadvantage.

"Broadband will not bring immediate economic transformation to rural America," she wrote. "But regions that lack broadband will be crippled." Dr. Strover adapted her report for publication in our online news journal, the Daily Yonder. The report was also covered by WMMT-Whitesburg, KY. (download an MP3 of the report). Download a complete copy of the report.

This research was supported by a grant from the Media Democracy Fund.

Rural Groups Support Media Diversity in Comments to the FCC

The Center for Rural Strategies has joined organizations and individuals from around the country asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make increased diversity in broadcast and broadband media a higher priority.

In a letter to the FCC, the organizations stated:

"We urge the Commission to implement better data-gathering practices regarding the ownership of media outlets by minorities and women, and to examine diversity in pending proceedings at the Commission. For instance, we ask that extensive studies be conducted regarding the potential impact of the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal on the diversity of voices in ownership and programming."

Press release from Free Press.


Rural Broadband Policy Group

The Rural Broadband Policy Group is a national coalition of rural broadband advocates that seeks to articulate broadband policies that provide opportunities for rural communities.

The Rural Broadband Policy Group is a growing national coalition of rural broadband advocates that emerged from the National Rural Assembly. The group's goals are  
1) to articulate national broadband policies that provide opportunities for rural communities to participate fully in the nation's democracy, economy, culture, and society, and 
2) to spark national collaboration among rural broadband advocates. 

Rural Broadband Principles
The Rural Broadband Policy Group upholds the following principles to articulate broadband and internet policies for rural America. We encourage the administration, agencies, and rural broadband advocates to adopt these principles as a framework to develop a national broadband plan.

  1. Communication is a fundamental human right.
  2. Rural America is diverse.
  3. Local ownership and investment in community are priorities.
  4. Network neutrality and open access are vital.
Rural Strategies' work on broadband and media policy is supported by the Media Democracy Fund.