Rural America suffers from the digital divide. As a country, the United States is significantly behind the rest of the developed world. To compete effectively in the global economy, the United States must invest in broadband infrastructure.
Current broadband implementations are uniquely suited for highly populated areas. A traditional implementation requires a service provider to make the capital investment in an area, own the infrastructure, and make their money over time by being the sole provider of content on that infrastructure. This model will not work in most of the United States.
Unless we do something fundamentally different, we will continue to bring up the rear in economic development.