Resolution Calling on the Federal Government to Maximize Its Stimulus Support for Broadband Internet Adoption and Use Programs

Resolution Calling on the Federal Government to Maximize Its Stimulus Support for Broadband Internet Adoption and Use Programs

WHEREAS, among the approximately 92 percent of American households that have access to broadband Internet services, only about 61 percent of U.S. households subscribe[1]   and

WHEREAS, research shows that a “lack of interest” in broadband is one of the main reasons certain populations do not seek out broadband services[2]; and

WHEREAS, research also shows that many non-broadband households view broadband as being either irrelevant or difficult to use,[3] and nearly half of the population that does not subscribe to broadband says it does not need such a connection[4]; and

WHEREAS, Americans that do not have broadband at home are disproportionately lower-income and older than average and fewer than one-quarter of such Americans have broadband at home[5]; and

WHEREAS, American Legislative Exchange Council believes that widespread efforts to promote broadband adoption,  use, and digital literacy are critical to improving the nation’s long-term competitiveness in a global market, and to achieving certain socioeconomic improvements in the quality of American life; and

WHEREAS, expanding adoption, use and digital literacy skills will allow a greater number of Americans to fully take advantage of the benefits of broadband based applications such as tele-health, energy management and education opportunities online; and

WHEREAS, the broadband funding programs established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dedicate significant resources to promoting broadband awareness, adoption, use, and digital literacy by these populations; shall it

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Legislative Exchange Council calls upon the federal agencies distributing  the broadband funding included in the ARRA to expressly mandate that broadband awareness, adoption,  use, and digital literacy programs receive funding priority;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Legislative Exchange Council calls upon the federal agencies implementing the broadband funding included in the ARRA to follow Congress’ clear legislative intent with respect to broadband adoption, use, and digital literacy treat the mandated minimum expenditure of $250 million for these purposes as a threshold level with a maximum limited only by the size of the broadband stimulus program itself.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to members of Congress, the Administration, and the relevant federal agencies implementing the broadband funding programs including but not limited to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service.

BE IT FURTHER   RESOLVED,  that the American Legislative Exchange Council  calls upon all levels of governments  to work cooperatively with the private sector, nonprofits, and academia to develop robust  broadband awareness, adoption, and use programs.

Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on August 27, 2009.


[1] Current Population Survey (October 2007), U.S. Census Bureau; See Leslie Cauley, Internet use triples in decade; broadband surges, USA Today, June 4, 2009.

[2] John B. Horrigan, Obama’s Online Opportunities II: If You Build It, Will They Log On? at 2 (Pew) (2009).

[3] Horrigan, at iii, 12.

[4] Consumer Insights to America’s Broadband Challenge at 2, Connected Nation (Oct. 13, 2008).

[5] Horrigan, at iii, 12.

 

 

Keyword Tags: Broadband, Communications and Technology Task Force, Public-Private Partnerships