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Featured News

U.S. not getting broadband fast enough

August 20, 2010

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, between 14 million and 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband internet, and immediate prospects for deployment to them are futile.

This new stance by the FCC contradicts previous statements which had said that high-speed internet service was being made available to all Americans in a timely fashion.

The statement was part of a comprehensive report by the federal agency that attempts to measure the country's progress in closing the "digital divide" that separates relatively wealthy, wired communities from less affluent, sparsely populated areas with no access to affordable broadband.

The report found disproportionately large segments of people without broadband access in rural areas of North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky, among other states.

The FCC's sixth statement on the subject, since it was mandated to do so by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is "the first really credible effort" by the agency to deliver findings based on quality data, said FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps.

"The sixth time is the charm," he added. "The documented failure to connect millions upon millions of Americans disproves previous FCC findings that broadband is being reasonably and timely deployed."

While the adoption of broadband has grown "significantly" over the last decade, "we still have a long way to go to ensure that all Americans have broadband access," Copps said.

High-speed internet providers have said it is not economically feasible for them to install broadband in areas with few potential subscribers.

The FCC supports the growth of broadband through public-private partnerships and announced in March that it hopes to use educational programs and an expansion of internet infrastructure to give 90 percent of Americans high-speed web access at home by 2020.

Currently, about 65 percent of Americans have high-speed internet access at home, which the FCC says is a disadvantage to economic growth.

The FCC report also updates a key standard -- the speed used to determine whether households are served by broadband.

For more information, visit CNN.

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Phase V of SET Launching in January 2015

Stronger Economies Together, a partnership between Cooperative Extension Service, USDA RD, the four Regional Rural Development Centers, NIFA, and Purdue Center for Regional Development, is launching Phase V. SET V is taking a brand new approach based on an extensive review of the program. Significant improvements to engage participants has been made; a civic engagement module added which will increase stakeholder involvement and buy-in; and a more streamlined approach which reduces the number of modules and gives greater flexibility to adapt to the capacity of that region. Most importantly, significant time will be devoted to launching the plan into implementation.

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Understanding Communities: Online course offers tools for community development

Would you like to understand how communities work? Are you curious about why good ideas sometimes fall flat? Do you watch groups struggle to make decisions without adequate data? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions we invite you to register now for Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics.

Learn More    |    December 1, 2014

Rural America at a Glance, 2014 Edition

While urban employment now exceeds pre-recession levels, rural employment remains well below its 2007 peak. The total rural population has declined slightly for several years, as slowing natural population growth fails to offset net migration away from rural areas; this is the first time rural population declined since data became available in 1950 that could detect such a trend. This report highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including employment, poverty, and population trends.

Learn More    |    November 11, 2014

CAPE Webinar: Enhancing Treatment and Recovery Support Services, with Nancy Roget.

The goal of this webinar is to review research-based technology-assisted care interventions that can be added to practitioners’ tool kit to complement behavioral health treatment services. Technology-assisted care is a rapidly evolving field and can take many different forms and formats, including audio, video, animations and/or other forms of multimedia; be customized to patients; and be web-based and accessed through computers, tablets, or smart phones. This webinar provides an introduction and will showcase several technology-assisted care interventions for substance abuse treatment. November 10, 1:00 pm (Eastern)

Learn More    |    October 29, 2014

Community Behavioral Health Early Warning Systems

Call for Proposals 2014


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Regional Rural Development Centers are partnering to implement a national program to explore options for community-implemented early warning systems with respect to community-level incidence of behavioral health issues (e.g. substance abuse, mental illness).

Individuals may participate in both competitions, but the intent of the project is to distribute the projects across different communities. An informational webinar is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

Learn More    |    October 1, 2014