The U.S. Broadband Coalition Tuesday called on President-Elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress today to make the implementation of a comprehensive broadband strategy a national priority in 2009.
As part of its call-to-action the group, which includes a diverse array of broadband stakeholders -- including the American Cable Association -- has released a framework and initial goals for a national plan to bridge the digital divide and harness the potential of broadband-enabled communications for businesses, schools, and individuals.
“In the 21st century, broadband access for every American is more than a luxury, or even a right; it is an absolute necessity,” ACA president Matt Polka said in a statement. “Broadband-enabled Internet connectivity has changed the way the world communicates, learns, and does business, and the United States can no longer afford to lag behind other nations. The prioritization of a national broadband strategy is long overdue, and 2009 should mark the beginning of the end for broadband disparity for individuals throughout the country, particularly in unserved communities.”
The call-to-action issued by the U.S. Broadband Coalition includes specific goals for the implementation of broadband for scientific research, education, health care, energy efficiency, transportation, and overall economic vitality.
Those goals include:
* Every American home, business, and public and private institution should have access to affordable high‑speed broadband connections to the Internet;
* Access to the Internet should, to the maximum feasible extent, be open to all users, service providers, content providers, and application providers;
* Network operators must have the right to manage their networks responsibly, pursuant to clear and workable guidelines and standards;
*The Internet and broadband marketplace should be as competitive as reasonably possible; and
*U.S. broadband networks should provide Americans with the network performance, capacity, and connections they need to compete successfully in the global marketplace.