USDA distance learning and telemedicine Project

school, health clinic and community center resources

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Challenges

Challenges the project has met and is working to overcome include connectivity hurdles - remote communities that cannot currently be provided with connectivity at rates any less than ten times the cost for service in an urban area. RAIN is working with the Universal Service program to over come this hurdle, but this requires getting three phone companies, two State agencies, a federal program, and the local communities to work together. Other challenges include overcoming inter-agency barriers - getting groups to work together who have had difficulty in the past finding common benefits from collaboration. We are finding that careful analysis of these impediments can most often find one common shared technology-based benefit that all agencies can embrace, and working from that benefit, are beginning to work together more effectively. And a third challenge is the literacy barrier - many of the families in the region being served are not English literate, and this influences the direction the video and audio media being used by the RAIN project.