The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative

Issue No. 49  September 2012 eNews: The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative
Related Information and Resources

Broadband battle hits rural areas

The fight between cable/Internet providers versus government initiatives to expand broadband access is being felt in rural areas. In this case, Lake County in Minnesota is battling Mediacom and the Minnesota Cable Communication Association. The private sector argues that government initiatives should only be deployed in unserverd areas. On the other hand, areas such as Lake County claim they have been underserved and that government initiatives could help improve access to broadband in places where private companies have shown little interest to provide services. Read the story here .

FCC annual report published

The FCC published its annual report on U.S. broadband in August 2012. The report found that 19 million Americans do not have broadband access. Of these, 14.5 million live in rural areas and do not have "fixed terrestrial" broadband technologies available. On the other hand, the number of Americans without broadband decreased from 26 million in 2010 to 19 million in 2011. This decrease was due, in part, to better and more accurate data, as well as well as expanded deployment by Internet service providers. For more information, go to either of these two links: here or here.

Will the Affordable Care Act help telehealth flourish?

Telehealth, or online remote health care, may get a significant boost thanks to three key factors: the Affordable Care Act (which will require online state health insurance exchanges), the ballooning/aging population, and a shortage of family physicians. In areas where improved access to broadband has occurred, telehealth has been able to supplement some face-to-face care. However, this expansion could be undermined by two factors: (1) issues regarding cross-state service when doctors reside in a different state from the patient and (2) reimbursement of telehealth services. For more information, read here.

FirstNet board appointed

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed 12 leading experts on public safety and wireless broadband to serve on the board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet, created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, will enable emergency responders and others in public safety to better communicate with one another during emergencies. The ultimate objective of FirstNet is to establish a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. For more information, read here.

"The cloud factories"

The New York Times has begun publishing a series of articles regarding massive data centers that are the backbone of the "cloud" and their impact on energy consumption and rural areas. The first article of the series can be read here while the second can be accessed here.

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Did you know?

Of the 19 million Americans with no access to broadband in 2011,

14.5 million live in rural areas.

Source: FCC

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eXtension Entrepreneurship Webinar Series

Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors
April 11, 2013
Londa Nwadike, University of Vermont Extension Food Safety Specialist

Tracking Sales to Learn What Customers Really Think
May 9, 2013
Mary Peabody, UVM Extension

Are you a Supermarket Vendor or a Super Market Vendor?
June 13, 2013
Ginger Myers, UMD Extension Marketing Specialist

All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at 2 p.m. (ET); 1p.m. (CT); noon (MT); 11a.m. (PT). No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at . You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest" option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

For more information and archives on the Webinar Series, please visit our Webinar page.