The Benton Foundation has released a report entitled “Using technology and innovation to address our nation’s critical challenges” that very successfully makes the case for a national broadband policy.
The report says:
“Persuasive research indicates that connection our nation to broadband will bring remarkable economic, social, cultural, personal and other benefits to citizens… taken together the rhetoric and research tell a compelling story; that in the Digital Age, universal affordable, and robust broadband is the key to our nation’s citizens reaching for – and achieving - the American Dream.”
While to some, aligning the achievement of the American Dream with broadband Internet may seem hyperbole, the report backs it up. Access to truly high-speed Internet connections gives people opportunities that don’t otherwise exist.
Without a national broadband strategy, the Benton foundation predicts that America’s competitors will continue to dramatically increase their already competitive advantage in executing “well-conceived and –financed national strategies.”
The Benton foundation outlines six economic and quality-of-life benefits that increased broadband deployment and adoption would bring. They are:
- 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
- Reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
The report goes on to make specific policy recommendations including a call for President-Elect Obama to issue an executive order on his first day in office giving high priority to federal leadership on a national broadband policy.