This document examines recent policy and technology approaches to bridging the digital divide in rural and remote areas in OECD countries. First, it discusses issues related to assessing broadband gaps, defining speeds and establishing national targets. Second, it describes policies being implemented to improve both access and uptake, such as fostering competition, promoting national, rural and community-led broadband initiatives, supporting open access policies and reducing deployment costs.
Finally, it briefly reviews technological developments that are likely to influence the provision of services in underserved areas. Experience in OECD countries with fibre optics, coaxial cable, copper, fixed and mobile wireless, satellites and hybrid approaches, as well as with emerging technologies, are used to illustrate some of the technological trends discussed. This document also includes a summary of common challenges and good practices to bring improved communication services to individuals and communities in rural and remote areas.