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Good for Jobs, Good for Our National Purposes

November 1st, 2010 by Phoebe Yang - Senior Advisor to the Chairman on Broadband

(Part of the ongoing WISENET Series)

Most of the time, when commentators talk about the benefits of broadband, they focus on its impact on economic development, and for good reason. Jobs are a central concern for almost anyone in American public life today, and high-speed broadband can bring real benefits.

Consider Chattanooga, Tennessee’s recent announcement that it will offer 1 Gbps service to all 170,000 customers in its service area by the end of this year. Companies are saying that having access to a high-performance fiber network is a significant factor in their decisions to expand in the area, and Chattanooga is already seeing large business expansion and small business relocation.

But doctors, teachers and engineers are also showing that broadband can benefit our ability to achieve national priorities like improving health outcomes, educating our children and making our electric grid smarter. High-speed connectivity is allowing doctors to practice telemedicine, treating patients hundreds of miles away who would otherwise have little access to advanced care. It’s enabling educators to extend learning beyond mere words – from describing historic events like the first women to fly or enter space, to – at the click of a mouse – showing actual video and audio footage of events like Amelia Earhart's flight across the Atlantic or the launch of Challenger. And, it’s helping electric utilities manage energy use and reduce bills for their customers.

In short, broadband is the foundation both for economic opportunity and social prosperity in the 21st century.  Like electricity or telephones in prior generations, it is hard to imagine an enabling technology more vital to our future.

2 Responses to “Good for Jobs, Good for Our National Purposes”

  1. Guest says:

    What's needed is to ensure there is open and universal access to broadband without corporate gatekeepers discriminating against consumers and innovators online. Innovators should not need permission to compete and innovate. In Comcast v. FCC the court said the FCC lacked ancillary authority under Title I for Network Neutrality (Comcast was sanctioned for deceptively violating it and sued on a technicality) court didn't say the FCC couldn't reassert its authority over broadband providers by reclassifying under Title II to protect the Open Internet but that it couldn't use Title I.

  2. John E. Luke says:

    The key to helping broadband succeed is to gain nationwide access to broadband speed levels for internet download and upload rates which prove to be a challenge cost wise. Then the key as well is reducing the cost to the consumer for access to broadband which could be gained through economies of scale with commercial publishers paying providership taxes to help recoup the costs of spreading broadband for the government and fees which would help provide Internet Service Providers and the backbone internet server service providers the funding necessary to maintain and provide quality human resources needed to keep the internet working brilliantly. At a certain point, a tax to consumer purchases over the Internet will need to be implemented as well, but this sort of taxation should remain limited if anything as the internet continues to grow in America and abroad.

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