Extending superfast internet to U.S.


by Ann Treacy • I just read a report that I really like: A Plan to Extend Super-Fast Broadband Connections to All Americans by John Windhausen, Jr. at the Century Foundation. It’s not necessarily a ton of new info but it includes a good (yet brief) survey of broadband policy history in the US and links to resources. The author has a clear viewpoint – but I think he backs up his recommendations with the history and resources.

Blandin on Broadband offers information on broadband use, access, and trends especially in rural Minnesota. Sponsored by the Blandin Foundation and their Broadband Initiative.

Here’s a super quick summary. The US had fallen down in terms of broadband. Policy has not helped – there’s been too much emphasis on de-regulation not enough on fostering competition. We’ve been left with a duopoly that has encouraged neither sufficient investment nor innovation from the private sector.

Broadband is great for business, education, the environment…

Here are the policies that would help turn around the broadband situation in the US:

* Provide seed money for broadband investment – especially in rural, inner city and unprofitable areas

* Promote investment by streamlining policies that encourage broadband – from improving access to right of way and allowing municipally owned networks

* Think about broadband as infrastructure: create federal-state jurisdiction, preserve openness, promote interconnectedness, build for the future

* Stimulate broadband use through consumer education

Here’s just a little bit on the Century Foundation from Wikipedia:

The Century Foundation was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene, an American businessman, social entrepreneur, and philanthropist, under the name of The Cooperative League. The organization’s mission was to act as an advisory committee for Filene in disbursing his funds in a way that could best benefit the world. Renamed the Twentieth Century Fund in 1922, and then The Century Foundation in 1999, the Foundation has sought liberal, progressive solutions to the nation’s problems.

The author, John Windhausen, Jr, is a communications attorney, a fan of Net Neutrality and the president of Telepoly.

originally published January 31, 2009