Fighting the Next Good Fight: Assessing what our national broadband strategy should be

Finally, it’s done. The supplement to my 2008 national survey that asked what economic development professionals think about using broadband to impact economic outcomes.

In November I took a broad look at how broadband can:

  • – attract and retain businesses;
  • – make businesses more prosperous;
  • – increase the creation of home-based businesses; and
  • – help prepare low-income workers for a digital economy.

In December I formed a virtual roundtable of experts – mostly people who’ve brought broadband to their communities – to probe in detail how to achieve these objectives. If the mucky-mucks in D.C. are going to throw billions at a broadband New Deal to stimulate the economy, we really should hear from those in the local trenches who ultimately benefit –  or not.

Here’s a brief synopsis of what they think.

  • – building a single nationwide network is not practical, nor should we try to deliver broadband everywhere;
  • – highspeed access alone won’t help the economy, government actions should reflect this;
  • – if incumbents drive the discussion in D.C., broadband as an economic stimulus has a dim future;
  • – Washington needs to provide policies, programs and legislation that support local governments as masters of their respective destinies;
  • – the value of hiring people to build broadband infrastructure pales compared to the technology’s true economic value;

If you’re involved with, concerned about or hoping benefit from broadband, read the report, share it with your colleagues. And if you haven’t read the survey report yet, download that and keep it handy

Happy New Year!

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