The reluctant regulator: The Rural Utilities Service and American broadband policy

Christopher Ali, Mark Duemmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Drawing on the increasing body of literature on policy stakeholders and the ever-growing acknowledgement that communication policy is crafted by more than just parliamentarians and formal communication regulators this paper examines the role that another set of regulators plays in communication policy: agriculture regulators. Based on a study of the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), this paper explores alternative agents of communication policy. More specifically, through document analysis we examine the way in which the Rural Utilities Service has shaped rural broadband policy in the United States over the last three decades. The implications for this research are wide, as it brings another policy actor into the policy making melee, and pushes communication policy scholars to consider the role that non-traditional communication regulators play in the communication policy making process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-392
Number of pages13
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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