Saturday, March 28, 2009

ALA files comments to FCC on rural broadband strategy

From the ALA Washington Office

On March 25, the ALA Washington Office filed comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the commission’s request for comments on a rural broadband strategy.
This opportunity gave ALA a platform to communicate how libraries can play a pivotal role in helping rural areas achieve the connectivity levels needed for tangible economic, educational and social growth.
The ALA’s filing outlined the following four recommendations:
·Develop and support the library’s role as the information hub
in rural communities
·Recognize public libraries as an essential source of lifelong
learning opportunities in rural communities
·The FCC should encourage the deployment of fiber to public
·Simplify the E-rate process
Additionally, ALA explained that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provides the funding for the initial investment of build-out of broadband infrastructure. Existing federal programs, such as the E-rate program, assist with the day-to-day sustainability of that investment. Both of these tools are necessary to create the advanced broadband network envisioned by the ARRA’s authors.

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