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Assessing Broadband Technologies in the Context of Rural Economic Development

Categorized Under: Community Development



The development of broadband networks across the United States continues at a rapid pace. However, rural regions are disproportionately underserved by broadband networks. Ironically, it is precisely because of their geographic remoteness that rural regions stand to benefit most from broadband networks. But broadband technologies are not all equal. ICF’s Don Bishop and Nathan Ringham examine the relationship between different broadband technologies and their capacity for economic development.

The goal of this paper is to help rural communities evaluate the variety of broadband technologies prior to making investment decisions. Communities need to evaluate speed, latency, capacity, and cost in order to make reasoned investment decisions that will drive economic development. This paper will help policymakers and those interested in promoting the economic health of rural regions understand that not all technologies provide equal capabilities, and thus not all technologies will lead to the same economic outcome.

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Authored By

  • Don Bishop

    Vice PresidentICF International

    Don Bishop is a Vice President and the Chief Technology Officer for ICF's Broadband Team. He has more than 30 years of experience in the engineering and the telecommunications industry, with a focus on broadband networks and technologies. He has held multiple leadership roles in product development, engineering management, project management, network design, integration, and technical analysis.

    Mr. Bishop has authored and presented papers for Institution of Radio and Electronics Engineers (Australia), Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, National Cable Television Association, Philippine Cable Television Association, and other prestigious organizations at national and international conferences on new technology developments, trends, and applications. He holds a number of patents for his technical designs.

  • Senior AssociateICF International

    Nathan Ringham has supported the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) by assisting in management and development of policies and procedures for reviewing applications for program eligibility and financial and technical feasibility. He also served as lead reviewer of applications requesting funds for activities leading the future development of broadband infrastructure (e.g. business planning, market studies) and served as lead author of post-award monitoring policies. Prior to his work on the BIP program, he worked with USDA Rural Development in support of their Farm Bill broadband program and several affordable housing programs.

    Mr. Ringham has an M.P.A. with concentrations in Policy Analysis and Economic Development.

Insight Details

Published: Jun 1, 2011
Authors: , ,

Stephen Kane

Source: ICF International

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