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SXSW 2020

Bringing High-Speed Broadband to Rural America

The availability and affordability of high-speed broadband has become an essential utility for quality of life, health and work in the 21stcentury. Yet most of rural America is left unserved. Population density has made high-speed broadband feasible in urban areas, as density was determinant historically for early implementation of electric, telephone, cable, water and sewer services. Federal, state and local governments are struggling with how to address the issue for rural areas. Meanwhile, communications technology, including 5G and satellite, are quickly evolving. Public policy determined through the political process is falling behind. This panel will address the challenges and offer possible solutions to this important issue.

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  1. On our current path, cities and rural areas are becoming more isolated/bifurcated with assets such as broadband, poised to create an even wider divide
  2. Cities and rural areas are allies – they can form symbiotic partnerships of mutual benefit
  3. Universities can play a unique role as the neutral partner and by researching, developing and deploying technology solutions to address this divide



Karen Lightman, Executive Director Of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government & Politics
  • Level: Intermediate
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