PPIC Report "Broadband for All?" Is this a responsibility of our government?

The Public Policy Institute of CA, PPIC, has just released a report entitled “Broadband for All?” that includes some valid questions. This report is Volume 3, Number 2–July 2007.

The sub title reads “Gaps in California’s Broadband Adoption and Availability.”

“Why should overcoming a broadband digital divide, or raising the level of broadband adoption, be a policy goal? No one argues that government should boost ownership of other technologies such as DVD players and digital cameras. The difference is that broadband access (and Internet access generally) is believed to give social or economic benefits that are in the public interest. But does making broadband more available to residents improve health outcomes, lower unemployment, or improve job quality? Does making broadband more available encourage job growth, increase profits, or raise productivity? Does making broadband more available to public workers lower crime rates or improve emergency response?”

In my opinion these are all very valid questions and should be part of any decision be it at the city or county level before engaging any supplier with exclusive contracts to provide said service. That’s my thoughts. What are yours?

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