April 13, 2021
The American Jobs Plan Is the Wrong Solution to the Digital Divide
The Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposes $100 billion to expand broadband to ensure every American has access to high-speed internet. While this goal is worthwhile, the AJP pursues it with costly, heavy-handed, and ultimately damaging policies, argue AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston and Technology and Innovation Policy Analyst Juan Londoño. In this analysis, they examine the limitations of municipal broadband and argue why policymakers should not pursue a one-size-fits-all approach to increase internet connectivity.
Policymakers on both sides want to solve the digital divide and help all Americans receive the benefits of internet connectivity. The heavy-handed regulatory policies proposed in the American Jobs Plan, however, could actually delay solutions and innovation by relying on a top-down, government-controlled approach that stalls existing progress. Enabling private-sector investment and innovation will help continue the development of a robust internet infrastructure and encourage creative solutions that fit the unique challenges of communities currently impacted by the digital divide.