The American Broadband Initiative has released a milestone report recommending the Trump administration eliminate regulatory barriers for broadband providers and expand opportunities for private sector investments.
ABI recommends the administration streamline permitting the processes for broadband deployment, utilize federal assets to lower broadband build-out costs and maximize the impact of federal funding. However, the task force gave credit to the administration for directing the use of “all possible policy tools to accelerate the deployment and adoption of affordable, secure, reliable, modern high-speed broadband connectivity.”
As part of its analysis, ABI cited the Federal Communications Commission’s 2018 broadband deployment report which shows “significant gaps” in advanced communications services despite some improvements. According to the report, 8 percent or more than 24 million Americans lack access to fixed land-based broadband connectivity at speeds of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps as of 2016. Up to 80 percent of that population live in rural areas, while 92 percent of the nation has basic broadband access.
“This is more than a technology problem; without access to broadband, entire communities are increasingly left behind in today’s information-driven economy. By connecting our communities, we are reconnecting Americans with one another and helping to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from this booming economy,” the report noted.
ABI added that innovation is primarily fueled by “unleashing the free market economy from burdensome government regulations.”