Deploying broadband internet to rural America is a large challenge. Planning, engineering and deploying 5G networks in those same rural areas is even more complicated. Numerous challenges exist to bridging the divide including funding, political, technical, and engineering issues. Yet help is on the way.
The Director of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, recently proposed a $20 billion "Rural Digital Opportunity Fund" to build out high speed internet to help connect up to four million homes in rural areas. Programs like this are helping move the dial on the funding and political issues. In addition, geospatial data already supports the technical and engineering issues behind deploying broadband to rural America. 3D geospatial data and continued improvements to the geospatial data will positively impact the engineering and technical issues for 5G as well. 5G will serve as the enabling technology for autonomous vehicles, smart communities and the Internet of Things worldwide. These services require access to 5G with minimum latency and are as critical to rural areas as suburban and urban.