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President Obama presses for faster rural Internet

2015-01-14 10:15 by
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President Barack Obama wants all U.S. residents to have equal access to broadband services, regardless of their location. His administration will provide technical and financial assistance to towns and cities that want to improve Internet service for their citizens. The President is expected to express his support for better Internet on Wednesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where the authorities have already provided high-speed Internet to the residents.

"You know what it feels like when you don't have a good internet connection. Everything is buffering, you're trying to download a video, you got that little circle thing that goes round and around. It's really aggravating," Obama said. "There are real world consequences to this, and it makes us less economically competitive."

One of the meassures that Obama will take is to send a letter to the Federal Communications Commission to end restrictions in 19 states that prohibit municipalities from offering their own broadband service. The President believes that this will bolster competition in markets where high-speed Internet offerings are not available.

Obama also will announce BroadbandUSA, a program of the Department of Commerce to provide technical assistance to communities in infrastructure planning, financing and construction. The Agriculture Department plans to relaunch a program to provide loans to rural broadband providers. The White House will host a summit of mayors and county commissioners who want to build their own broadband projects.

According to the FCC, 53 percent of rural Americans have no access to high-speed Internet, which means that their download speed is less than 25 megabits per second.

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