In an opinion piece for GigaOm, broadband industry analyst Craig Settles (who is also an IIA Broadband Ambassador) argues that in order for America to close the digital divide, smart investment in infrastructure will be key:

The broadband stimulus program committed nearly $500 million to narrow the digital divide through broadband adoption campaigns and building computing centers in low-income areas. After distributing much of this money in 2011, these investments should start bearing fruit. But will they?

Their success faces two challenges: a lack of sufficient broadband infrastructure in some low-income areas and broadband adoption efforts that miss the mark because policymakers don’t understand what leads to success. Fortunately, these issues can be addressed. Once we accept that success depends on how we spend that stimulus funding and what stakeholders expect (hope) to achieve.

Read the whole thing, as they say.