Measuring Broadband: Improving Communications Policymaking through Better Data Collection
Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 10:37am
MEASURING BROADBAND: IMPROVING COMMUNICATIONS POLICYMAKING THROUGH BETTER DATA COLLECTION
[SOURCE: Pew Internet & American Life Project, AUTHOR: Kenneth Flamm, Amy Friedlander, John Horrigan, William Lehr]
Imperfect or absent data are rarely mentioned in policy discussions. Yet the communications policy debate in the United States today is inseparable from debates about the data used to make claims about policy propositions. Policymakers are beginning to see the need for better data. This report contains recommendations on the principles that should guide efforts to improve data collection on the deployment and use of communications infrastructure: 1) Collection of data should be at a sufficiently fine-grained level to permit regional analysis of the impacts of communication technology. 2) The United States should be able to produce a map showing the availability of infrastructure in the country. 3) Academic researchers, non-profit organizations, the government, and the private sector must work collaboratively to gather data that permits assessment of quality of service and the user experience.
The report is based on a workshop convened last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.