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Broadband in the U.S.

Broadband in the U.S.

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Published by John Cook
A ranking of the states with the best broadband infrastructure.
A ranking of the states with the best broadband infrastructure.

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Published by: John Cook on Dec 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Where States Rank as They Look to High Speed Connectivity toGrow Strong Economies and Vibrant Communities
John B. Horrigan, PhDTechNet Senior FellowEllen SatterwhiteTechNet Innovation Fellow
December 2012
States are actively pursuing ways to use broadbandto promote economic development, build strongcommunities, improve delivery o governmentservices, and upgrade educational systems. Theingredients or meeting those goals are ast andubiquitous broadband networks, a populationo online users, and an economic structure thathelps drive broadband innovation and investmentin new broadband uses. Not all states have theseingredients in equal measure. In this report, theTechNet State Broadband Index rates the states onindicators o broadband adoption, network quality,and economic structure as a way o taking stock owhere states stand. The ratings show that the topfteen states are:States employ a range o approaches to improvingthe broadband climate. Promising approaches toostering an environment where broadband cancontribute to states’ development include:
• Executive and Legislative Leadership:
 Governors who show an interest in developingbroadband are a spur to building the coalitionsand institutions that can enhance broadbandinrastructure deployment and adoption in astate. Legislative leadership is also critical toensuring that regulatory barriers are minimized,that rights o way access is expanded and thatother policies needed to promote deploymentand adoption are developed.
• State Funding:
Closely associated with execu-tive and legislative leadership is unding orinrastructure (oten done in a way to leverageprivate unding or incentivize private invest-ment), and initiatives to promote broadbandadoption among citizens. Although tight statebudgets make new expenditures dicult toincur, states who fnd the resources lay thegroundwork or uture social and economicgrowth.
• Cooperation:
Bringing stakeholders together inthe public, private, and non-proft sector is oteneasier said than done. That is why the leadershipo a governor and legislators matters, but otherstakeholders have to demonstrate engagementas well. Eective cooperation can lower the costo deploying inrastructure and boost broad-band adoption rates. Conversely, rictions insuch eorts may make it harder to compete orunding that may be available rom the ederalgovernment or make a state less attractive orbusinesses that need ast broadband to thrive.
• Planning:
Many states engage in planningactivities to explore gaps in broadband inra-structure in the state, understand broadbandadoption in the state, and identiy how stateagencies and community anchor institutions
WashingtonMassachusettsDelawareMarylandCaliorniaNew JerseyVermontVirginiaUtahNew YorkRhode IslandPennsylvaniaOregonNew HampshireTexas
(e.g., schools and libraries) can use broadband tocarry out their missions better. Institutionalizingthese planning eorts can give broadbandadvocates a stronger voice in debates aboutinrastructure in the state, while providing along-term perspective on how policy choicesimpact broadband outcomes.States that rank highly on the broadband index standbetter chances o reaping the benefts associatedwith high quality networks and robust adoptionrates. The links between broadband and specifcoutcomes—rates o economic growth, higher testscores or children, higher rates o civic engage-ment, or better government perormance—aredicult to estimate with precision. Yet, i as theNational Broadband Plan says, “Broadband is
 great inrastructure challenge o the early 21stcentury,” states’ eorts to meet that challenges willhave payos or the entire country. By comparingwhere states stand, the State Broadband Index oersstakeholders a roadmap or accelerating progress—and laying the oundation or stronger communitiesand a more innovative economy.

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