Press Releases

Internet Innovation Alliance Recommends Focus on the Unserved, Local Involvement, Planning for Future Innovations, and Sustainable Solutions for FCC National Broadband Strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 8, 2009 – The Internet Innovation Alliance, a broad-based coalition that has long supported a comprehensive national broadband strategy to achieve universal broadband availability and adoption, today released the following statement on its FCC Notice of Inquiry (NOI) submission for the development of a national broadband plan:

“An effective National Broadband Strategy will enable the government to partner with the private sector to extend broadband service to every corner of the country, while at the same time raising awareness of its benefits. A national broadband strategy should also evolve as technologies improve, and as we learn more from broadband mapping and from the return on initial stimulus investments. The best strategy will start by examining where we stand today and then identify policies to get us where we want to be.

“As policy makers combine their eagerness for swift action with the admonition to first do no harm, four basic principles should guide their efforts:

  • Focus on what we know while we learn what we need to know. We know roughly 10 million households lack any broadband options, and connecting them requires billions of dollars. By contrast, policy makers need greater qualitative information on why many Americans are choosing not to subscribe to broadband where it is available. The National Broadband Strategy should embrace new innovative programs, but not rush decisions that will benefit from the broadband mapping currently underway.
  • Tap local knowledge.  States and localities have much to offer to the broadband discussion. Federal officials should work closely with Mayors, Governors and community leaders, seeking every opportunity to empower those on the ground who are closest to the challenges and most creative in customizing answers.
  • Enable Entrepreneurs and Plan for Major Innovations. Federal investments in broadband should never lock communities or the market into specific technologies or standards. While government planners should reflect previous experience, such as the benefits of connecting libraries and community technology centers, they should also enable game-changing technologies to transform the landscape.
  • Implement sustainable solutions. We must take care to avoid new entitlement programs, connecting communities and individuals with broadband offerings that they can never afford to maintain. Government investments that lack sustainable funding are not sound investments in our future. Similarly, federal regulations to direct one-time grants should complement, not imperil, the $60-$80 billion annually invested by private actors in the telecommunications marketplace.
  • “The Internet Innovation Alliance applauds the Administration for seeking a coherent set of policies and goals that complement and accelerate efforts in the marketplace to achieve universal adoption of high speed Internet. Working together, public and private leaders can restore U.S. primacy in Internet technologies and ensure the benefits of true broadband reach all Americans in fewer than 10 years.”

    Read the full filing here: