High speed: Not just a convenience, but an essential part of life

The Alliance for Public Technology, an organization devoted to promoting fast and affordable internet access for all, has published an in-depth report on the need for universal high-speed internet.  In the report, APT makes the crucial distinction that high speed is “no longer a convenience but an essential part of life” – underscoring the insufficiencies of current national policies.

The report, Achieving Universal Broadband: Policies for Stimulating Deployment and Demand, analyzes the issue of internet accessibility from several angles.  Not only does it identify faults in current policy, but it goes one step further in providing expansive recommendations on implementing high-speed reforms on a fast track.  The deployment of services, APT argues, needs to be not only effective but equitable in reaching all customers.

With input from policymakers, public interest groups, and industry and labor representatives, APT came up with numerous recommendations on ways to improve current internet services from a nation-wide perspective.  Some of these recommendations include:

  • Establish clear national goals for broadband deployment.
  • Require accurate reporting of broadband deployment, speeds and prices.
  • Provide tax incentives, low interest loans, and grants for broadband deployment.
  • Utilize non-traditional, non-telecommunications programs more effectively.

Without a national high speed internet policy, it is no surprise that the US is lagging behind other countries in high speed services--we’ve dropped from 11th to 16th since 2002.  This is just wrong.  We should be leading the way, finding innovative ways to ensure that the entire country, from the most densely populated city block to the most remote rural town, has access to affordable high speed internet service.

Alliance for Public Technology

APT Report: Achieving Universal Broadband: Policies for Stimulating Deployment and Demand