RDOF and CBRS: A Pandemic-Proof Solution to the Digital Divide

One of the most beneficial and consequential effects of modern technology has been its ability to help human beings communicate more clearly and effectively with one another across time. The launch of the internet, for example, marked a major revolution in how human beings share and process information. As a tool aimed at facilitating human communication, the internet was probably the single most important invention since Johannes Gutenberg unveiled the printing press to the world in the 1450s.

And yet despite the incredible rate of technological advancement over recent years, there are still some significant barriers that block the free flow of information between individuals and groups.

Distance from major cities provides an illustrative example. Today, many rural communities do not have the same degree of access to wireless communication services that’s available to their urban counterparts. This discrepancy – often referred to as the “digital divide” – has existed for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more pronounced than ever before. 

Since early 2020, millions of Americans have been forced to leave the workplace and the classroom to begin working and attending school online. This, in turn, has created an unprecedented need for reliable wireless communication services across the US. Unfortunately, many residents in rural communities have struggled to access the wireless services that they need in order to be successful as remote employees or students. 

Thankfully, the rise of two programs – the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) – provides newfound hope to those who dream of closing the digital divide.

A Brief Introduction to the RDOF and the CBRS

Here are a few need-to-know details about the RDOF and the CBRS:

What is the RDOF?

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) was launched in the summer of 2019 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to the FCC’s website, the primary goal of this program is to “to bring high speed fixed broadband service to rural homes and small businesses that lack it.”

What is the CBRS?

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), also launched by the FCC, is a broadcast band extending from 3.5GHz to 3.7GHz. Control over this broadcast band has been distributed by the FCC according to a three-tier system. One of the major benefits of this program – without going too deeply into the technical details – is that it is helping to spread high-speed wireless access across major geographic and socioeconomic divides.

Learn More About How Technology is Transforming the Telecommunications Industry

At TekCom Resources, we’re committed to providing telecom employers with the information and resources that they’ll need in order to thrive. To learn more about how programs such as the RDOF and the CBRS are transforming the telecommunications industry, please contact us today!

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