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Policy Issues
Testimony and Filings

A National Broadband Plan for Our Future


By Rob Atkinson and Richard Bennett
July 21, 2009

As the FCC develops America’s first national broadband strategy it will be important to focus on both broadband supply and demand as well as the presence of market failures within the broadband marketplace. Relying on markets alone will not meet our country’s future broadband needs. Instead, to meet the goals for broadband coverage outlined by the FCC, targeted subsidies should be used to expand coverage beyond what the market will provide. In this FCC filing ITIF discusses the policy and non-policy factors that affect broadband deployment and outlines an appropriate policy framework for a successful national broadband strategy.

Read the full text of the filing.

Policies to Stimulate Broadband Supply

  • Enact more favorable tax policies to encourage investment, such as accelerated depreciation.
  • Continue to make more spectrum available for next generation wireless data networks.
  • Reform the Universal Service Fund (USF) program to extend support for broadband in high cost areas to all carriers.
  • Fund mechanisms to collect more accurate information on broadband access.

Policies to Stimulate Broadband Demand

  • Funding digital literacy programs and personal computer purchases for schools and libraries.
  • Exempt wired and wireless broadband Internet access from federal, state, and local taxes.
  • Support new applications, including putting more public content online, improving e-government, and supporting tele-work, health IT, and e-learning programs.

Related Links

Explaining International Broadband Leadership
May 1, 2008

The Role of Competition in a National Broadband Policy
March 16, 2009

The Need for Speed: The Importance of Next-Generation Broadband Networks
March 5, 2009

Framing a National Broadband Policy
March 5, 2009

NextGenWeb interview with Rob Atkinson about the FCC filing
July 31, 2009