The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has joined the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in releasing a report to Congress entitled, "Bringing Broadband to Rural America: Update to Report on a Rural Broadband Strategy," for placing new emphasis on the need to support the delivery of broadband to rural communities.

The report, prepared by the FCC in consultation with USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), noted that broadband deployment and adoption remains a top priority for the Obama Administration through ongoing loan and grant programs administered by RUS and regulatory reform measures and tools set forth by the FCC.

However, more needs to be done to fulfill the Administration's objective for widespread deployment of affordable, quality broadband services to every community.

"The FCC's report confirms the need to continue the Administration's comprehensive investments and policy framework to ensure that rural communities and tribal nations enjoy the same access to the economic, educational, health care and public safety opportunities and services that broadband delivers in urbanized communities," said RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein.

"Financing available through a broad range of USDA programs is essential for economic growth, including jobs, in the parts of the country still waiting for the benefits broadband brings."

"While we have made significant progress, the report shows that approximately 28 percent of rural residents still lack access to the kind of broadband that most Americans take for granted," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.