BROADBAND TECHNOLOGY

Where We Are & Where We're Going

Technology is the fuel that drives our economy, connects our families, and guides our future.

Yet subtle changes are going unnoticed that show the U.S. is falling behind other countries on many important technology metrics, leaving us to ask:

"How can we promise an American future as bright as our past?"

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

Who's Getting Left Behind

In 1969 the defining technology of our era was brought to life as a small project by American universities to share knowledge and information.

This little communications technology, called the internet was in it's infancy and just 45 years later and it has transformed the world as we know it.

"Broadband is not yet being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion."

– The Federal Trade Comission, 2012

Throughout the 1990s the United States was the world leader in internet connectivity, but as the years have pressed on, the US is now ranked 14th among westernized nations…

… leaving more than 30% of Americans without a broadband connection at home, forcing the Federal Trade Commission to conclude that "broadband is not yet being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion."

All of this during a time where, over 66% americans believe that not having a broadband connection at home puts a heavy disadvantage on the people of that household. Take a moment to soak that in. As you read this, there are over 3.98 million Americans without broadband access.

STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

But, is it enough?

The good news is that the government and private entities are stepping in to bring faster connection speeds and more coverage to all Americans.

In 2010, the FCC released it's National Broadband Plan where it set a benchmark of 100 million U.S. homes having affordable access to actual download speeds of 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps by 2015.

"By connecting every corner of our country to the digital age, we can help our businesses become more competitive, our students become more informed and our citizens become more engaged."

– President Barack Obama, June 2012

According to Akamai, between 2012 and 2013, average peak US broadband speeds increased 25% to 36.3 mbps thanks impart to new fiber optic networks being built by companies such as Google and Verizon. Though this increase is a step in the right direction, to fully close the gap more competition and transparency will be required in the broadband market.

THE DRIVERS OF CHANGE

Competition and Transparency

Over the past couple years, the US government spent $258 Million to map and understand the limitations of our current infrastructure showing that large areas (percentage) of the U.S. only have access to one wireline provider showing there is not adequate competition in many areas.

"Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress."

– President Herbert Hoover, 1930

This means that in underserved areas, corporations have little incentive to deploy faster broadband technology to keep their current customers with no other competitors.

This is one of the key reasons the U.S. broadband infrastructure is falling behind foreign countries such as South Korea, China, Australia and Thailand who's markets are built around transparency and open competition.

As all sectors of the US market subtly shift power from the corporations back to the consumers, our goal is to be apart of this movement.

By empowering consumer with clear picture of what providers are in their area we hope to open the gates for better transparency and competition in the broadband market, ultimately resulting in better outcomes for consumers.

Written by Last Updated on 5/31/2016

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