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The Need for Speed

Mark Marich

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains $7.2 billion to help support and expand broadband deployment across the US.

A new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Policy Foundation reminds us that these critical investments are not just about allowing us to surf the web quicker or view more YouTube videos. If done right, the widespread deployment of next generation broadband could have transformative effects on the economy. Lots of new markets and new technologies will open up. For example, real time collaboration over the Internet will become a reality. New applications in distance learning and health care (e.g., telesurgery, teleconsultations) will become possible, and whole host of consumer entertainment uses, such as video on demand will also emerge.

The ITIF researchers also note that this strategy can have a big and immediate stimulus impact, too. They estimate that deploying high speed broadband to the 80 percent of US households that now lack such access could help create or retain two million direct and indirect jobs in the US.

Report: "The Need for Speed: The Importance of Next Generation Broadband Networks," by Stephen Ezell, Robert Atkinson, Daniel Castro, and George Ou

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