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Experts believe more than 18 million Americans lack the
high-speed internet access necessary to sufficiently participate in
America’s business and educational opportunities. The lack of
access often derives from the lack of broadband infrastructure in
rural areas. That lack of infrastructure is due to there not being
enough households per mile in certain areas to offset the costs
faced by service providers in installing fiber in those areas.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic and changing economy underscores,
the lack of adequate internet access imposes a great obstacle to
work and school opportunities for many Americans.
To address this problem, a number of federal and state programs
have been undertaken to aid businesses and governments in
alleviating some of these obstacles, both in the form of funding
through loans and grants and in the creation of state and local
institutions to aid in the planning of solutions, including state
and local broadband authorities. In addition, private financing of
all or part of an infrastructure project has become available in
These initiatives are a start to solving these challenges and
many projects are underway across the nation. However, in addition
to the need to obtain financing for such projects, other
difficulties still remain, as noted by utility broadband expert and
investment banker Christopher R. Perlitz of Municipal Capital
Markets Group, Inc.:
“Many pitfalls exist in undertaking a rural broadband
infrastructure project, including not being pragmatic in estimating
real constructions costs, not adequately considering all the risks
associated with make-ready issues (i.e, the actual connection to
the world-wide web), not implementing a well thought out marketing
plan to be competitive from a pricing standpoint and over reliance
on corporate partners with nothing to lose if the project
While the aforementioned difficulties remain, solutions and
structures are available to address these problems and new
solutions continually are being advanced to aid in solving these
problems facing many Americans.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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