The best method to get broadband access into rural communities will be the next-generation of satellite technology, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative said.
Last week, NRTC told the Federal Communications Commission it believes universal access to broadband services will be attainable in the near future through the deployment of WildBlue and other Ka-Band satellite services. NRTC, which made the comments as part of the FCC's proceeding on the availability of broadband and whether high-speed Internet is available to all consumers, has a stake in WildBlue along with Liberty Media and Intelsat, among others.
"NRTC is convinced that next generation Ka-Band satellite services will be an essential tool in achieving universal broadband deployment," the cooperative said in its FCC comments.
NRTC told the FCC that 226 of its electric and telephone members have signed up to become distributors of WildBlue, and additional members are still joining the WildBlue project. "Through WildBlue, NRTC and its members are looking forward to offering for the first time a truly affordable, broadband service to unserved rural households across the country," the cooperative said.
NRTC also said it supports members providing DSL and unlicensed wireless services. NRTC also said it is closely monitoring developments involving broadband over powerline technology.
"Terrestrial broadband technologies, however, will not economically reach consumers residing in all areas of rural America," NRTC said.
The first satellite supporting the WildBlue service, Telesat's Anik F2 satellite, is set to launch this year.
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