While a high-speed Internet connection is already a necessary ingredient for economic prosperity, service quality and adoption remain uneven across the country. Pricing and speeds vary between and within cities and metropolitan areas, limiting growth opportunities for businesses and digital entrepreneurs. There are also significant gaps in broadband adoption rates between high- and low-income households, and many at-risk populations don’t have the kind of Internet access necessary to fully engage in the digital economy.
Local leaders will need an array of policy interventions to create ubiquitous network coverage and promote service adoption in their communities. Yet these places cannot go it alone—they need strong supporting policies from their state and federal partners.
On Thursday, December 10 the Metropolitan Policy Program, in collaboration with the National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions and Applied Research, hosted an event examining how a new federalist framework can promote a network build-out that supports local independence while meeting national objectives around economic opportunity. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) provided a federal perspective and was followed by a panel of metropolitan and industry leaders.
Follow the conversation on Twitter using #MetroBroadband.
Read a related report: Broadband adoption rates and gaps in U.S. metropolitan areas
Clarence E. Anthony, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, National League of Cities
Adie Tomer, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
Rob Puentes, Senior Fellow and Director of Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Alexander B. Howard, Senior Editor for Technology and Society, The Huffington Post; Andy Huckaba, Councilmember, City of Lenexa, KS and Member, National League of Cities Information Technology and Communications Steering Committee; Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, Vice President and Chief Research and Policy Officer, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC); Ted Smith, Chief of Civic Innovation, Louisville Metro Government; Michael Mattmiller, Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle