Closing The Digital And Economic Divides In Rural America

Today, Staunton sits at the crossroads of two interstates, 81 and 64, which carry traffic north and south through the center of the valley and east across the Piedmont to Virginia’s state capitol, Richmond. With a 2017 population of nearly 25,000, Staunton is the first stop on my 10-city tour to investigate the effects of being digitally invisible in a highly connected, global society. This photo essay confirms that rural areas like Staunton are in critical need of high-speed broadband networks for economic and talent development, especially as access to technology has become the lever to avert the expected outcomes of poverty and social isolation, at least for vulnerable populations.

Full Brookings Article HERE.  The article points out the obvious, rural America does not have broadband because of it’s not a viable business model which can overcome the ORI hurdles. The high 5G investment hurdle is going to make the problem even worse.  The major providers are counting on the edge computing to fatten the 5G ROI, where are the edge industries in rural America to pay the piper? Right?


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