Hear Prof. Christopher Ali, Media Studies (University of Virginia) discuss his current research project, Farm Fresh Spectrum: Rural broadband and the future of connectivity. Ali’s research examines the complicated terrain of rural broadband policy in the United States. Farm Fresh unpacks the politics of broadband policy, asking why millions of rural Americans lack broadband access and why the federal government, and large providers, are not doing more to connect the unconnected. It explores different business structures, focusing on the importance of co-operatives to provide rural broadband. It contemplates the technologies of rural broadband—from the “future proof” fiber, to the tried-tested-and-true digital subscriber line (DSL) and the rollout of the advanced cellular networks of 4G, LTE, and 5G. It examines the uses of rural broadband, focusing on precision agriculture. Finally, it analyzes the policies of rural broadband, interrogating issues of regulatory jurisdiction, authority, legitimacy, and subsidy.
This seminar is organized by the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) Speaker Series and R2B2 Project with the support of Food from Thought, a partnership of the University of Guelph and Canada First Research Excellence Fund.