The recent shift toward online business and education activity highlighted the lack of access to high-speed broadband internet service in some parts of the U.S., especially rural America. Independent research by groups such as Broadband Now suggests the number is close to 42 million Americans who are without access to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed, the minimum speeds to be considered broadband internet.
Help is on the way for those without access to high-speed broadband, as the bipartisan infrastructure bill President Biden recently signed includes $65 billion over ten years to finance the expansion of broadband. However, even with government aid around the corner, more work still must be done to close the digital divide that plagues rural America.
“As the demand for universal connectivity continues to spike, it’s important that every American have access to ubiquitous high-speed internet and all of the opportunities that come along with that,” says Deepak Verma, Head of Broadband Access Portfolio Management at Radisys.
Radisys has been a long-standing supporter of the rural community, offering their partnership through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), a program in which the FCC will award $20.4B over 10 years toward fixed broadband and voice services to bridge the digital divide in rural America, and plan for network delivery success with high-performing future-ready broadband access solutions. The program began in late October of 2020, and has since awarded over 1,200 winning bids, with the most recent coming within the past two weeks.