Rural communities may get an influx of new residents from urban centers according to a study cited by Axios. Nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas with more urban residents considering making a move versus suburban or rural residents.
Given the nation-wide work in place requirements faced by many Americans and an increase in demand for additional broadband bandwidth as Americans turn living rooms, kitchen tables, and dens into work spaces, new rural residents will want the same quality of broadband services necessary to fulfill their employers or business customer needs. This means closing the gap between broadband gap between rural areas and urban areas faster than expected.
Apparent Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has declared in his campaign platform budget support for broadband funding. Mr Biden would like to provide $20 billion of financial support for broadband build-outs in rural communities. He asserts that this amounts to three times the amount previously provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grants Program. The program funds broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.
Donald Trump’s most significant contribution to rural broadband deployment so far has been the $50 billion Rural Infrastructure Program. Eighty percent of the program funds was allocated to state governors and the remaining 20% was allocated to select states that applied for Rural Performance Grants.
Politically, I don’t see the needle being moved very much in favor of either candidate’s efforts to become president. Whether he wins or loses, Mr Trump could leave a legacy of broadband funding that resulted in economic growth bleeding over into rural areas as broadband companies leverage the government’s incentives into creating new services, particularly in 5G network technology. Studies show that 5G deployment is expected to create 8.5 million jobs between 2019 and 2025. 5G deployment, construction, and consumer spending is expected to fuel job growth of 394,700 jobs in Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, and Roanoke alone. Both candidates hope that federal government spending can bring some of these jobs to rural areas.