Economic Growth & Quality Jobs
Expanded access to high speed Internet generates major economic growth and rapid job creation. High speed connections accelerate business development by providing new opportunities for innovation, expansion, and e-commerce. Connected communities create wealth and opportunity by attracting businesses that want to locate in areas with a strong broadband presence.
In the new global economy, access to broadband has become as essential to individual and community economic prosperity as electricity and roads. From rural to urban areas and everywhere in between, all people stand to benefit economically from a national high speed Internet network. Read More »
The potential for using high speed Internet technology to help expand access and quality of health care in the United States is enormous. The use of advanced communications technology to transmit medical data and imaging in real-time, while linking patients to providers for direct consultation, removes geographical barriers and allows people to receive the medical care they need when and where it’s needed.
In the face of rising medical costs and increasing gaps in insurance coverage, the cost-cutting efficiencies of telemedicine – the delivery of quality health-related services and information using telecommunications technologies - are more valuable than ever. Universal high speed Internet access would help bring the prospect of affordable and quality health care for all Americans closer to reality. Read More »
High speed Internet enhances every level of education from kindergarten through high school to college to graduate school. Advances in information and communications technology means that education is no longer confined to the classroom. New broadband-enabled educational tools allow for remote collaboration among fellow students on projects, videoconferences with teachers and real-time video exploration of faraway areas. The educational advantage possible with high speed Internet has become indispensable to students preparing to enter the 21st Century workforce. Those students with limited or no access in their formative elementary school years are falling behind. Computer skills must go beyond technical competency, to include higher-level skills such as critical thinking and problem solving as well as the creative use of technology. The earlier every student in America is connected to high speed Internet, the brighter our country’s future will be. Read More »
Distance learning allows adults to gain vital skills training to secure employment and move beyond entry-level jobs with flexibility, whether it be through getting a college degree online or completing an online worker training program. Busy people pressed for time and money learn online at their own pace and for less money than they would typically spend on an in-person course. Distance learning allows industry specialists in remote areas to impart their knowledge to wider audiences through two-way video conferencing. Over half of students in U.S. colleges and universities live off campus, as do the vast majority of students in secondary and continuing education programs. Connecting these millions of Americans to powerful new online educational and training applications requires a commitment to universally accessible broadband. Read More »
High speed Internet breaks down the barriers of distance and time, allowing residents of rural areas to participate in economic and civic life far beyond their geographic region. Communications made possible by broadband technology eliminates the logistical constraints of regionally-based business models, allowing businesses in isolated areas to compete with their big-city counterparts. Ultimately, the numerous economic and social advantages enabled by the availability of high speed Internet in rural areas benefits the entire country. Read More »
High speed Internet can help senior citizens live independently, improve their quality of life, increase participation in economic and civic life and reduce costs of medical care. High speed broadband also enables elderly people to share their knowledge through new, influential media and to stay in touch with loved ones. These benefits can only be realized if high speed Internet is available and accessible to everyone. Read More »
Bridging the Digital Divide
When underserved communities gain access to high speed Internet, all Americans benefit. Whether they reside in remote rural communities, low-income urban neighborhoods, or anywhere in between, it is in the nation’s interest to make sure that these disconnected communities are not left in the slow lane.
High speed Internet access has become vital to the success of individuals and communities. Our nation’s commitment to equal economic opportunity, educational advancement, and democratic participation can only thrive if everyone has equivalent access to these critical communications networks. As important as it is to our country to ensure access to what we think of as more traditional resources or services for all citizens, closing the digital divide in America strengthens the entire country economically and socially. Read More »
Energy and Environment
Making affordable high speed Internet accessible to everyone creates many solutions to America’s growing energy problems. Broadband reduces our carbon footprint while promising substantial economic pay-offs. By including universally accessible, high speed Internet as an essential part of our energy plan, the United States can build a green economy, greatly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and spur economic growth by creating new environmental jobs. Read More »
E-Government & Civic Participation
High speed Internet allows citizens to participate in civic life more fully and interact with government agencies with greater ease. E-Government solutions can make navigating government services more efficient, improve the quality of services, and increase transparency. Although e-government does not replace the quality of services delivered in-person by skilled government employees, especially to vulnerable populations, high speed Internet enhances public employees’ abilities to supplement these services in important ways. As federal, state, and local governments increasingly rely on the Internet to provide information, forms, and services for various government programs, the need for universal, affordable access grows. And with civic participation only a click away, high speed Internet can lower the barrier between citizens and their elected representatives. The capabilities of high speed Internet to aid in everything from simplifying interactions with public agencies to expanding the possibilities of a participatory democracy are endless. Read More »
The application of high speed Internet technology to public safety initiatives – ranging from emergency services to homeland security – can save countless lives by improving on current responder-to-responder voice networks. Broadband networks enable police, fire and emergency medical personnel to react to crises more quickly while facilitating cooperation between multiple safety agencies. Advanced two-way, public networks allow safety officers to quickly access online resources, connect to network-enabled devices, and rapidly transfer critical video and data files during crisis situations. High speed Internet also promises to improve victim-to-responder communications by enabling digital transmissions to and from the broadband-enabled public, like detailed public safety announcements sent over broadband networks. Expanding affordable broadband will let more people reach the help they require, and allow safety workers to provide emergency services of a higher caliber in less time. Read More »
Enabling People With Disabilities
High speed Internet empowers people with disabilities to become more independent. An Internet connection with enough speed to allow two-way voice, data, and video transfer can remove barriers that keep people with disabilities from participating in everyday activities such as employment, education, civic responsibilities and social connection.
According to the 2008 U.S. Census, 50 million Americans have some kind of disability. Not only does this substantial segment of our population stand to benefit greatly from universally accessible broadband, but we all benefit from the increased participation when more people are broadband users. Read More »
When libraries are connected to high speed Internet, the neighboring community benefits. Public libraries serve as critical gateways to information outside one’s own community, and in the Information Age this role has become even more important. Libraries give people without home computers free access to the Internet, helping America close the digital divide. As reliance upon public libraries to provide broadband telecommunications services for their community increases, it becomes essential to have universal high speed connectivity in libraries across the country. Read More »
Having the skills to use a computer and navigate the Internet – often referred to as “digital literacy” – allows people to benefit more fully from high speed Internet. Digitally literate Americans are more attractive to prospective employers, and businesses comfortable with digital technology are more economically competitive. Tech-savvy students use high speed Internet to improve their academic performance and prepare for future jobs. Broadband enables people familiar with teleconferencing and online social networks to strengthen their ties with faraway friends and family. Fundamentally, high speed Internet is a tool with endless potential, and only the digitally literate have the skills to harness it effectively. Read More »