Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps has released a report on broadband strategy for rural America, CNET reports. The report was mandated as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. In that bill, Congress asked the FCC to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to submit "a report describing a comprehensive rural broadband strategy." The emphasis came several months before President Obama took office. Obama also sees broadband as a priority and included funding for broadband development as part of the stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year. Copps called this report on rural broadband a starting point for developing a national broadband policy. And even with the $7.2 billion for broadband from the stimulus package, he said more money will be needed to ensure that every American has access to broadband. Copps identified several issues in this report that must be overcome to get broadband deployed in rural areas, including technological challenges, lack of data about where broadband is available and who is accessing it, and high network costs. Despite these challenges, he said the U.S. government must pour resources into solving these problems–just as it did when building the U.S. Postal Service, the railroads, the nationwide electrical grid, the interstate highway system, and even the internet backbone…

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