Hugh Pickens writes "A Pew study last year found that only 38 percent of rural American homes have access to broadband Internet, compared to 57 percent in cities and 60 percent in the suburbs. All that could be about to change with the announcement that Verizon plans to start introducing a new wireless network in the 700 MHz spectrum in 2010. 'The licenses we bought in the 700MHz auction cover the whole US,' says Tony Melone, a Verizon Wireless VP. 'And we plan to roll out LTE [high-speed mobile service] throughout the entire country, including places where we don't offer our [current] cell phone service today.' Because the [700 MHz] spectrum is in a lower frequency, it can transmit signals over longer distances and penetrate through obstacles, and because the signals travel longer distances, Verizon can deploy fewer cell towers than if it used spectrum from a higher frequency band, which means it can provide coverage at a lower cost. President Obama's administration is well aware of the high-speed Internet divide that exists today, and as part of the overall economic stimulus package passed by Congress, the government is allocating $7.2 billion for projects that bring broadband Internet access to rural towns and communities."
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