As part of efforts to bridge the digital divide, 16 telecom companies will share the proposed sum to set up high-speed broadband services in small towns which lack in broadband access, in order to improve their economic and educational standing, according to an announcement by the US Department of Agriculture.
The 16 states that will benefit from the rural broadband fund are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
While the use of 3G is quite popular in many parts of urban US, in the rural hilly areas, connectivity is more of a problem, and thus they are unable to keep up with the rest of the country for use of facilities like real-time video streaming, video conferencing, and more. According to a recent report, 28 percent of rural America lacks high-speed Internet access of 3 Mbps or more, as compared to just 3 percent of people facing similar problems in urban areas.
Meanwhile, 4G network expansion is being looked at as a boon for the US, with network investments predicted to reach $53 billion by 2016. According to estimates by Deloitte, 4G could also provide 7, 71,000 new jobs in the US by 2016.