Wednesday, February 6, 2013

USA - Lessons from broadband and the need to develop best practice toolkit

Dr. John Horrigan, Vice President and Media and Technology Institute Director at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has released a statement on broadband adoption

His lessons were that:

  • The previous decade’s fast growth rates in broadband adoption was not sustainable into this decade;
  • Barriers to adoption are more complex than we thought;
  • The non-adoption problem is solvable. The research showed that non-adopters aren’t a hopeless group of (mostly old) people who dislike technology. The right kinds of programs can lure people to broadband;
  • Smartphones help close adoption gaps, but have limits as standalone access devices and are mostly used to add to users’ access means, not as a substitute for wireline.
His future challenges was to sustain the progress, for which he recommended:
  • Developing a “best practice” tool-kit on broadband planning to help states and localities better engage with stakeholders to improve their broadband environment, and;
  • Using reform of the Lifeline/Link-Up program to direct a portion of Lifeline funds to state and local planning and program activities to support broadband.

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