"In March, the FCC introduced the comprehensive National Broadband Plan. The FCC says somewhere in the range of 14 to 24 million Americans lack access to broadband internet connections. Most live in poorer, sparsely populated rural communities." -- FCC's National Broadband Plan Comes Under FireThose poorer rural communities are only going to get poorer if they don't get broadband. No broadband = lower property values; apart from the Amish, very few Americans want to live or work or raise a family without broadband. Lower property values = declining tax base = fewer services = poorer schools, and so on in a cycle of decline.
Read the full article for a detailed look at the issues involved. We have to say that between inter-agency wrangling and the lobbying might of the big telcos (who want $20,000 per mile to connect rural users) the outlook is not good.