Rural Telecom Operators Take on Risks for Their Communities, But for How Long?
May 12, 2020
- Rural telecommunication operators are taking on business and financial risks to ensure their communities remain connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Many are providing free service and setting up free Wi-Fi hot spots, exposing them to cash flow risks.
- COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of the unserved in rural America as remote learning and working from home become the norm.
- Because of these vulnerabilities, rural communities have an increased sense of urgency to bridge the digital divide.
- The current Universal Service Fund (USF) architecture, intended to help fund the bridge, may not be a sustainable model. New sources of revenue, such as applying fees to broadband services, may be a solution.
Stay ahead of the game in your field. Subscribe today.
Get CoBank's industry-leading Knowledge Exchange research reports delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they're released.
Have a comment or question about these reports?
Contact CoBank's Knowledge Exchange team to ask questions, engage with analysts or receive additional information.