SEDRD Speaker Series: "Broadband to the Farm and the Politics of Rural Connectivity in America"

Date and Time


University of Guelph - Library, Room 384, Florence Partridge Room


Please feel free to join us for the Fall 2019 SEDRD Speaker Series with Dr. Christopher Ali discussing “Broadband to the Farm and the Politics of Rural Connectivity in America.”  No registration is required. 

Dr. Christopher Ali is an Associate Professor in Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia. He has a PhD (2013) from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Christopher’s current research project, Farm Fresh Spectrum: Rural broadband and the future of connectivity, examines the complicated terrain of rural broadband policy in the United States. Farm Fresh unpacks the politics of broadband policy, asking why millions of rural Americans lack broadband access and why the federal government, and large providers, are not doing more to connect the unconnected. It explores different business structures, focusing on the importance of co-operatives to provide rural broadband. It contemplates the technologies of rural broadband—from the “future proof” fiber, to the tried-tested-and-true digital subscriber line (DSL) and the rollout of the advanced cellular networks of 4G, LTE, and 5G. It examines the uses of rural  broadband, focusing on precision agriculture. Finally, it analyzes the policies of rural broadband, interrogating issues of regulatory jurisdiction, authority, legitimacy, and subsidy.

This seminar is organized by the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) Speaker Series and R2B2 Project with the support of Food from Thought, a partnership of the University of Guelph and Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

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