The Case For Universal Broadband in America: Now!

Thanks to Bernadine Joselyn and Becky LaPlant for forwarding me a recent study from the Center for Creative Voices in Media. The report’s title kind of tells it all — The Case For Universal Broadband in America: Now!

The gist is that in 2004, President Bush made universal broadband a goal – yet not much has happened to make that goal a reality. We’ve slipped down the rankings of countries with high broadband penetration. And the report claims we’ve lost:

• Hundreds of Billions of Dollars in New Economic Development
• Over a Million New, High-Paying Jobs
• Increased Homeland Security and Public Safety
• Better Health Care at Lower Cost
• Enhanced Educational Opportunities
• Greater Citizen Participation in Government and Communities
• More Access to – and Participation in – Journalism, Culture and Entertainment.

The merits of various Internet connections are called into question. Should be call satellite broadband? What is affordable? What speeds are broadband?

What I tend to like more than that are the profiles of individuals, companies, and communities that have failed or succeeded based on their access to broadband. This report includes a lot of good stories – some I recognized, some were new. They also point to previous article and research that quantifies economic loss or gains.

They don’t bring up any Minnesota communities – but they do talk about success in Watford City North Dakota where an old John Deere showroom has become a programming and call center and where worked make $40,000 a year. It’s an example of “farm-shoring” projects – as opposed to off-shoring.

Another interesting Midwest twist compares Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa. Cedar Falls went with a municipal fiber network. Waterloo relied on the local provider. In the time they were studied, 11 companies relocated from Waterloo to Cedar Falls. In the same time frame, Cedar Falls has not lost a single business to relocation.

You can read this and a lot more in the study.

This entry was posted in economic development, Research, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

4 thoughts on “The Case For Universal Broadband in America: Now!

  1. With the loss of high tech jobs means when u make a phone call most likely your reaching call centers within what we considered 3rd world regions.Im hoping to be able to attend the blandin conference just to see whats said because in reality if we do not work in unison on the promotion of broadband then the cost will outlast the means and that just does not benefit anyone.In reality we could all talk of the merits of each technology but when it comes down to it the services we all supply to those needing it are how we can all judge the good we do for regions.
    For us we are wanting to make sure rural regions have services and at times its frustrating as winter is coming .With that comment i will end .Also we are working with some for security services along entities.

  2. well good we will be able to sit and talk face to face over some of these issues .We just completed talks with some of the native reserves on supplying there services .Amazingly there regions are in talks to bring in more industry for there areas and they like the new technology .They are also looking at connecting all there educational centers .And with this service there telemedicine is also something they asked about.

  3. i need a good email host for a client can u suggest any ,they have a need for 40 people and to have storage.I have numerous clients with needs that i like to outsource because we cant do it all .

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