Benton Foundation calls for national broadband policy

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.

Using Technology and innovation to address our nation’s critical challenges: A report for the next administration (Benton Foundation)