Washington , D.C. – July 30, 2008 – Broadband access, vital to life and commerce in America, must be an early and high-level priority for the next Administration, announced the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) today. The 4-year-old IIA, a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations, renewed its commitment to building a stronger Broadband America through two new initiatives: Broadband Ambassadors, some of the nation’s best and brightest minds who support greater usage of broadband Internet; and a National Broadband Strategy, a call for a coherent set of policies and goals to accelerate universal adoption of high speed Internet.
“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s history,” said IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman. “To compete and win in the 21st century, we must ensure the United States capitalizes on the extraordinary economic, technological and societal opportunities presented by broadband. The benefits are undeniable and compelling.”
Among the benefits more recently identified:
A 7 percent increase in broadband adoption could result in $134 billion per year in total direct economic benefit to the American economy. (ConnectedNation)
For every 1 percent increase in broadband adoption, 293,000 permanent private sector jobs are created. (The Brookings Institution)
Broadband-based remote monitoring for all chronically ill patients could reduce hospital, outpatient, and drug expenses by 30 percent – reducing overall health care expenses for the U.S. by roughly 25 percent or about $350 billion annually. (Robert E. Litan with Criterion Economics)
Wide adoption and use of broadband can achieve a net reduction of 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas over 10 years, which, if converted to energy saved, would constitute 11 percent of annual U.S. oil imports. (American Consumer Institute)
The IIA has embarked on an aggressive campaign to expand awareness and help government leaders understand the need for universal broadband availability and adoption. Leading Internet executives and academics across key industries including health care, education and technology are joining the effort as IIA Broadband Ambassadors to address the value of universal broadband.
Broadband Ambassadors supporting this important initiative include: Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN); Dr. David Brailer, Chairman of Health Evolution Partners; Tom Rogers, CEO of TIVO (NASDAQ: TIVO); Bruce Hahn, President of the American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance and the American Homeowners Foundation; Michael Gallagher, CEO of Entertainment Software Association; Brian Mefford, CEO of ConnectedNation; Russell S. Lewis, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development at VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN); Mark McLaughlin, Former Executive Vice President at VeriSign, Inc.; Craig Moffett, Senior Analyst at Sanford Bernstein; and Bret Swanson, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Global Innovation at The Progress& Freedom Foundation.
“We are thrilled and honored to have established such a prestigious roster of individuals who truly understand where our nation is at – and where it needs to be – in terms of broadband penetration,” said Larry Irving, Internet Innovation Alliance Co-Chairman. “The IIA Broadband Ambassadors recognize that broadband can play an essential role in our ability to meet the challenges of the day and help all Americans succeed.”
National Broadband Strategy Initiative
Broadband is becoming ever more important to our nation’s economic development, education, health care and environmental sustainability. In order to maintain U.S. global competitiveness, the IIA is calling for a National Broadband Strategy, a coherent set of goals that complement and accelerate efforts in the marketplace to achieve universal adoption of affordable, high speed Internet.
The next Administration must work with political and community leaders in Congress and the States, innovators and entrepreneurs, content creators and Internet users, to offer and embrace a National Broadband Strategy. Such a Strategy must harness market forces and robust competition.
Three primary objectives for the next Administration :
Provide investment incentives and encourage public-private partnerships to expand broadband infrastructure and availability;
Adopt policies and incentives to promote transformative applications and ongoing innovations that accelerate America’s global competitiveness and address major national challenges, such as energy efficiency, health care cost and quality and educational opportunity; and
Expand broadband adoption by ensuring all citizens possess the digital literacy and technological awareness to make valuable use of access and critical applications.
IIA is starting an online petition drive to build support for the need for such a Strategic vision and plan. To sign the IIA National Broadband Strategy Petition, link to internetinnovation.org.
Scaling the Internet to Meet the Opportunity
In addition to the economic and societal benefits, a National Broadband Strategy is required to address the exponential explosion of digital content that threatens to slow down access for all. Known as the “exaflood,” this extraordinary growth of traffic requires a substantial investment in infrastructure upgrade and improvement. According to Nemertes Research, $137 billion global infrastructure investment could be required over the next three to five years to prevent Internet service declines.
The exaflood is exciting, but it also presents new challenges. The capacity of the Internet, its “bandwidth,” is limited. Policy makers must focus on upgrading broadband networks to handle the exponential explosion of data on the Internet.
“Today’s broadband is tomorrow’s traffic jam unless we continuously invest, innovate and improve our networks’ ability to handle the traffic,” said Mehlman. “The good news is that our nation has all of the technological capability and necessary capital resources. With wise public policy, America can meet this challenge.”
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About The Internet Innovation Alliance
Larry Irving and Bruce Mehlman founded the Internet Innovation Alliance (internetinnovation.org) in 2004. The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aims to ensure that every American has access to broadband Internet. IIA believes that U.S. leaders should create a comprehensive National Broadband Strategy to complement market efforts to achieve universal broadband availability and adoption.