study, 40 pages, 6" x 9" (paper), 2000
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Today, as advanced telecommunications technology overtakes cities and suburbs, the infrastructure for providing Internet and other cutting-edge services barely inches its way into rural areas. If the trend continues, these communities will be unable to compete economically or provide modern health and education services. Telephone service presented a similar challenge, and federal and state governments responded with regulatory solutions to ensure reasonably priced "universal service." But universal telecommunications service will require new policy approaches. The current era of rapid technological and organizational change provides unprecedented opportunities to develop policies sensitive to local needs and requirements. Collaborations between state regulatory agencies, local public interest groups, and firms in the telecommunications industry can yield positive benefits for these under-served communities.
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