The crux of Sims’ take …
The broadband adoption numbers have definitely moved upwards in recent years and we should take a moment to applaud this progress. At the same time, there is still work to be done. We should ensure that all American households have access to some kind of broadband connection.
Broadband can be [an] engine of job creation, a facilitator of educational and health care opportunities, and a means of shrinking the distances between isolated communities. Yet, without access, some folks are left behind.
This is why a broadband stimulus package (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) is so important. The stats demonstrate [that,] while broadband usage is going up, there is still a clear need to increase broadband adoption and use.
How these stimulus grant funds are used is critical. Earlier this year, we laid out a few ideas on how [the] program should be structured around the following priorities:
1. Extending broadband facilities to unserved areas.
2. Supporting programs that enable underserved populations to acquire and to make effective use of broadband service where it is already available.
3. If funds remain, extending broadband facilities to underserved areas defined in terms of below-standard speed and other qualitative measures relative to today’s current-generation broadband services.