September 1995 | NTIA Special Publication SP-95-33

Survey of Rural Information Infrastructure Technologies

Kenneth C. Allen; Robert J. Achatz; Brent L. Bedford; Eldon J. Haakinson; Raymond D. Jennings; Michael Laflin; Vincent S. Lawrence; John J. Lemmon; Patricia J. Longstaff; Robert J. Matheson; Elizabeth E. Pol; Bradley J. Ramsey; Wayne R. Rust; Frank H. Sanders; Robert B. Stafford; Jeffery A. Wepman

Abstract: Communication and information technologies can reduce the barriers of distance and space that disadvantage rural areas. This report defines a set of distinct voice, computer, and video telecommunication services; describes several rural information applications that make use of these services; and surveys various wireline and wireless systems and technologies that are being used or might be used to deliver these services to rural areas. Rural information applications require a wide range of telecommunication services, but no current system or technology is capable of delivering all of these services to all areas. This report concludes that there are many technologies suitable for providing voice telecommunication services in rural areas. It is also technically feasible to provide advanced computer networking and video capabilities to even relatively small towns in rural areas. No technology was found capable, however, of economically providing these broadband capabilities to the most isolated farms, ranches, and homes. It is expected that new wireless technology will need to be developed to accomplish this. Government regulations and policies will also play an essential role in the development of the Rural Information Infrastructure. Different regulations and policies will likely be required in rural areas than in urban areas.

Keywords: National Information Infrastructure (NII); networking; Rural Information Infrastructure (RII); rural telecommunications; telecommunication services; telecommunication systems; telecommunication technologies

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Frank H. Sanders
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-7600

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Ed Drocella, Chief,
Spectrum Engineering and Analysis Division
Office of Spectrum Management
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(202) 482-1652

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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