A Plan to Extend Super-fast Broadband Connections to All Americans
A Century Foundation Report
John Windhausen, Jr.
Broadband technologies are fast becoming the cornerstone of economic growth in the twenty-first century. America needs a comprehensive federal policy to promote broadband development and use. But there is no silver bullet that will solve America's broadband woes. The problems are too complex, and the marketplace too diverse, to adopt a "one-size-fits-all" approach. The United States needs a holistic strategy that includes a variety of tools, including both "carrots" and "sticks." There are four areas of need that the government must address in order ensure that our broadband infrastructure meets our future needs.
The first step must be to embark on a significant effort to provide government "seed" funding to build high-capacity broadband networks across the country. The U.S. government should ensure that everyone has access to this essential technology, especially people in rural, inner city, and unprofitable areas.
If the United States is going to make this investment, it must do so with a long-range view. This calls for a national strategy to build broadband networks with large enough capacity to handle a minimum of 100 mbps, and perhaps faster. Building such networks would allow us to leap-frog many other countries and allow the United States to reclaim its position as a world leader in broadband connectivity.