July 23, 2021
What Broadband Policies Should Be in the Infrastructure Package?
Any infrastructure package will likely include funding to expand broadband access, but what kind of policies will best accomplish lawmakers’ goals? Federal policymakers should avoid costly government-centric programs such as municipal broadband or significant changes to the definition of “high-speed,” contends AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston. Instead, they should focus on technology-neutral and locally led solutions that support innovation and remove barriers to adoption.
Broadband is an increasingly important tool for education and employment opportunities. As federal policymakers consider the appropriate actions to further expand broadband, they should look to the success of the existing internet infrastructure led by the private sector and avoid costly, one-size-fits-all, government-run solutions. While the specifics may best be handled in local communities, federal policymakers can also use this opportunity to seek to remove regulatory barriers that could deter deployment and ensure programs that address barriers to adoption are properly accessible to both qualifying individuals and those wishing to provide service.