Tracker Pixel for Entry

The Winners in Rural Broadband - the Customers

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | March 18th, 2020

photo courtesy of Debra Ruh

by Sonja Thompson

Debra Ruh is the CEO and Founder of Ruh Global IMPACT, a consulting firm that strives to help clients amplify their impact and become disability inclusion leaders. She also serves as the Chair of the United Nations' G3ict EmployAbility Task Force, which supports information and communication assistive technologies in over 100 countries. Her advocacy for people with disabilities has changed the way technology companies interface with their customers; and she has measurably improved the lives of millions of people all over the world who live on the margins, helping them to compete in the world-wide marketplace and improve their quality of life.

Recently, Ruh has turned her attention to shine the spotlight on a section of society that also is too-often overlooked: rural America. She, herself, is a business owner who lives in one of the many thousands of fringe, distant, or remote rural areas, as designated by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

What makes an area rural? The U.S. Census guidelines define rural fringe as less than 5 miles from a city or densely populated suburb, or 2.5 miles from an urban cluster (town); rural distance is 25 miles from a city or 10 miles from a town; and rural remote covers everything greater than rural, distant populations.

In a recent article, Ruh shared the following personal experience running a business from rural America:

“I live outside Richmond, Virginia about 100 miles from our Nation’s Capital – Washington, DC, in a small community called Rockville, Virginia. I can attest that access to the internet is still a huge problem all over the world, including here in the United States with rural communities like mine not having access to dependable, affordable and reliable internet services.

“The growth of small businesses and the GIG economy are making it critical to have access to stable, affordable and high-speed internet service… Rural communities do not have the same access options as urban communities.

“To get reliable access to the internet, we had to find a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) that could assemble a solution from very high-end radio equipment. I pay $250 a month for my internet connection. That might seem expensive, but I am running a global business from my home like many in the new economy. All of our work is online, including my two global shows – Human Potential at Work (with audiences in over 86 countries and 113 regions) and AXSChat (one of the largest Tweet Chats in the world). Additionally, many of my employees are technologists with disabilities and they work from their homes from countries all over the world.”

Ruh also noted the work that Huawei has done – and will continue to do – to help connect people in rural America:

“Huawei has a long history of supporting rural communities with affordable dependable internet solutions. The company started by bringing internet to rural parts of China. Huawei was the only corporation to bring the internet to these rural markets, and they have continued to expand into other rural markets, including rural areas in the United States, Canada, Africa, and other countries…

“More than 700 million people in rural areas around the world still cannot make phone calls or access the network (according to GSMA statistics). By the end of 2018, nearly 400,000 villages around the world had no network coverage. The digital gap between cities and the countryside is widening, especially the gap between remote areas and urban areas.”

In rural America alone, there are roughly 23 million people, and many of them do not have access to the FCC’s minimum requirements for inclusive broadband download/upload speeds (25Mbps/3Mbps). However, these speeds are required for many complex tasks, including completing homework assignments, accessing medical services, and running a business.

The real winner when it comes to broadband connectivity in rural America is the customer. Many rural Americans have undeniably benefited from Huawei’s lean and tight strategies, which prioritize making better tech more affordable. In fact, Huawei built its brand by serving rural customers – the people that the larger telecom operators were content to leave behind. Like Debra Ruh, Huawei believes in inclusion, because everyone deserves the same opportunities in this growing digital world.

[Debra’s original blog post is https://www.ruhglobal.com/digital-inclusion-for-rural-communities/ ]

Recently in:

By the time this article is published, all the major new outlets in the area will have reported on the May 30th protest in Fargo demanding change and justice after the needless killing of George Floyd, as well as its aftermath. …

by Sonja ThompsonDebra Ruh is the CEO and Founder of Ruh Global IMPACT, a consulting firm that strives to help clients amplify their impact and become disability inclusion leaders. She also serves as the Chair of the United…

Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

by Sofia Makarova and Massimo Sassi The global pandemic is an incredibly challenging time for many. Nearlyone in every three Americans’ jobs have been affected, whether a temporary layoff, a permanent job loss, or a reduction in…

Gadfly

Mask It Or Casket

by Ed Raymond

Please, Democrats, Socialists, and Never-Trumpers, don’t pay too much attention to the political polls this time. You have to understand that Donald J. Trump is a psychopathic nutcase who has no ideology or moral base in his…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

It goes without saying that Valentine’s Day is the most profitable of all the holidays and the one with the most tortured history, literally. It is confusing how an ancient Roman festival that involved sacrificing animals and…

Fargo obviously loves their classical music. Audiences have still turned out during the 2019-2020 season of the Sanford Masterworks Series performed by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra despite an unrelenting winter. That…

Jeffrey McHale’s “You Don’t Nomi” lines up a colorful gallery of defenders and detractors ready to reflect on the serpentine journey of Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 spectacle “Showgirls.” Contemplating the movie’s gradual…

This weekend, the 10th Annual Unglued Craft Fest will be held at the Plains Art Museum, featuring over 70 local and regional artists selling handmade items. Though most are Fargo-Moorhead residents, artists from Minneapolis, Sioux…

Theatre

Fargo Film Festival 2020

by HPR Contributor

by Dominic EricksonThis March, the Fargo Film Festival will celebrate its 20th year of entertaining die-hard cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. The festival begins on March 17 and concludes March 21. The event is once again…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“…optimism (assumed) we were living in a ‘new world order’ and a ‘new economy’ that would ‘grow’…bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be ‘unprecedented’…The ‘developed nations’ had given to…