Speed Matters! Read all about it!

We've just completed our Speed Matters policy report which makes the case for developing a national policy for universal high speed broadband.

As the lead author of the paper, I consulted with experts here at CWA, other members of the Alliance for Public Technology and with policy makers and researchers in the U.S. and abroad. It was especially exciting to learn about the important benefits of high speed internet from doctors, people with physical limitations and first responders. The finished product was the result of a long and intense process of gathering information, creating an analysis, and developing recommendations. I am proud of the result.

But the policy paper is just the beginning. We hope that it will focus discussion on the best ways to obtain the ultimate goal of universal, affordable high speed internet, begin the process of getting workers and consumers more involved in the policy making process and broaden the dialogue about specific policies. As workers, consumers, corporations and elected officials weigh in with their own perspectives and proposals we will share those ideas with you.

The telecommunications industry is at a critical juncture. The emergence of a new telecommunications system-one based on high-speed interactive networks designed for voice, data, and video communications-opens up tremendous opportunities for improving the quality of our economic, civic, and personal lives. While most attention has been focused on entertainment and gaming the real story is that advanced high capacity communications networks have become essential to economic growth and can increase democratic and civic participation, improve the delivery of health care, education, job training, public safety and other vital services.

Millions of people in the United States are unable to take advantage of the benefits of the telecommunications revolution because they do not have access to affordable, high quality Internet services. This failure not only hurts our relative economic position in the world and the ability to participate in civic life but also adversely affects public health and safety. How many lives are placed at risk because health care professionals and patients do not have the option of utilizing telemedicine or because first responders do not have access to high capacity broadband networks but are dependent on old and inefficient technologies?

We should not have to endure such risks or wasted lives. It is time for the government to protect the public interest, to "promote the general welfare." It is time for federal government to adopt a national policy to ensure universal access to affordable high speed Internet.

Speed Matters - CWA Policy Paper: files.cwa-union.org/speedmatters/SpeedMattersCWAPositionPaper.pdf 
Alliance for Public Technology: www.apt.org