Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton gets it: U.S. does not just have a "rural broadband" problem

It's a well established management and planning axiom that effectively addressing a problem or issue relies upon a clear definition of the problem. When it comes to modernizing its telecommunication infrastructure and addressing infrastructure disparities, it's too frequently imprecisely defined as a "rural broadband" issue.

That papers over the fact the the United States suffers from very uneven deployment of advanced telecommunications infrastructure in all areas: rural, exurban, suburban and urban. In short, the U.S. doesn't only have a "rural broadband" problem. It has significant, widespread gaps and incomplete infrastructure everywhere in the nation. It's folly to define the issue purely based on geography.

Finally that realization is beginning to register with public policymakers and office seekers as illustrated in a speech this week by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

You know, I happen to think we should be ambitious. While we're at it, let's connect every household to broadband by the year 2020. It's astonishing to me how many places in America not way way far away from cities but in cities and near cities that don't have access to broadband. And that disadvantages kids who are asked to do homework using the Internet; 5 million of them live in homes without access to the Internet. So you talk about an achievement gap, it starts right there. (Emphasis added)

Excerpt courtesy of Newsweek. Full transcript here.

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