Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s outlines a policy plan for local, state and national audiences

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society released a new report; last week I looked at mentions of Minnesota today I thought I’d look more broadly at the report. They define three main benefits better broadband can deliver…

  • Growing the American Economy. High-Performance Broadband transforms industries that are basic to everyday life, positively impacting agriculture, education, healthcare, energy, and more.
  • Empowering Workers. High-Performance Broadband advances skills training to boost individual opportunity, helping to overcome income inequality and economic frustration.
  • Strengthening Communities. High-Performance Broadband spurs economic growth and jobs. It can enable civic participation. It can improve the health, education. and learning of community members.

Then they look at a four-prong approach to making that happen. Here’s an outline of topics in the report based on the four segments:

Advancing Broadband Deployment

  • Map Broadband Oases and Deserts
  • Deploy High-Performance Broadband
  • Reach Unserved Areas (and Reject the Claim of “Overbuilding”)
  • Deploy High-Performance Broadband on Tribal Lands
  • Employ Reverse Auctions to Stretch Federal Dollars
  • Establish Eligibility for Reverse-Auction Participation
  • Establish Requirements for Funded Deployment
  • Increase the Effectiveness of Federal Efforts
  • Support State Strategies Targeted for Specific State Circumstances and Needs

Promoting Broadband Competition

  • Promote Broadband Competition at the Local Level
  • Enact Stronger Federal Policies to Spur Broadband Competition
  • Execute Additional Pro-Competition Recommendations in Other Parts of This Report

Ensuring Affordability and Adoption

  • Create an Affordability Agenda
  • Support Digital Skills
  • Incorporate Digital Skills Training in Regional Economic-Growth Strategies

Supporting Community Anchor Institutions

  • Governments should establish connectivity goals fit for the rising demands of the next decade, including periodically re-examining the current goals set by the FCC for federally funded connectivity to schools and libraries and establishing connectivity goals for other community anchor institutions.
  • Governments should support and promote competition to drive better broadband at lower prices for community anchor institutions.
  • The administration of broadband programs supporting community anchor institutions must be transparent, rely on competitive outcomes, and provide reasoned (and thus reviewable) analysis for administrative decisions.
  • Federal and state programs should empower community members—particularly K-12 students—to access community anchor institution broadband and crucial applications ubiquitously.
  • Governmental support for High-Performance Broadband deployment to community anchor institutions should leverage those networks to spur competition and greater connectivity for nearby residents.
  • Spectrum policy should allow community anchor institutions to be full or even favored participants in shared and tiered access.
  • State and local governments should facilitate comprehensive broadband strategies, including encouraging the creation and growth of state research and education networks and bringing institutions together to learn from one another.

The report is filled with persuasive stats and stories. In fact, if you were looking to build awareness of broadband, you could do worse that Tweet a stat a day from this report!

This entry was posted in Policy, Research 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s