WASHINGTON, June 2 - Ensuring that all Americans have access to broadband is about more than ensuring high-speed Internet connectivity, said the CEO of the One Economy, a non-profit organization promoting a philosophy of "digital inclusion."
In addition to ensuring that broadband is present, affordable and available for adoption by low-income Americans, groups aiming to make a difference in stemming the digital divide must also focusing on human capital and digital media content, said Rey Ramsey of One Economy, speaking last week at plenary session the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks here.
One Economy has been seeking to bring broadband into public housing developments, and then to create the tools and incentives for residents to use broadband. The group has sought created its digital content, including the Web site beehive.org, about emergency preparedness, and is currently developing a "public internet channel," which aims to provide what it calls "a 21st century public service benefit for all Americans."
"It is important to attack everything on the supply and demand side," said Ramsey, rather than focus merely on the availability of broadband in a particular community. "So much attention is placed on the connectivity" piece of broadband, he said.
Ramsey said specifically that Internet speeds needed to be included in analyses of digital inclusion.
"We have to upgrade the thinking. We are falling behind in terms of speed," he said of measurements of U.S. broadband. And he criticized the Federal Communications Commission's inclusion of office use of the Internet in its broadband statistics. "We should only be looking at high-speed in the home."
Others speaking at the conference, an annual gathering of volunteers and others who have been seeking up wireless community networks for more than a half-decade, also emphasized the need for a holistic approach to leveraging community engagement in the Internet.
Mark Ansboury, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology office of OneCommunity, spoke about the need to not only engage in dialogue about connectivity, but to create a platform for universal adoption of broadband within a community. OneCommunity is a non-profit organization targeting universal Internet access, social inclusion and economic development in northeast Ohio.
The group wants to make broadband as ubiquitous and free as the air we breathe, said Ansboury. But that noble goal doesn't mean avoiding engaging with the business community -- including the telecommunications carriers.
Among wireless communications networks, "the fear is that the incumbent carrier is going to come after me [so that] I have to stay so far beneath the radar," Ansboury said. "We have built a commercially scalable network in northeast Ohio, but have structured it in a way that is a win for us and win for them."
OneCommunity is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has committed up to $25 million over five years to create universal Internet access programs in 26 cities of focus by the foundation.
It uses next-generation fiber-optic networks, and also wireless communications, to meet its goals, said Ansboury.
Organizations Mentioned in this Article:
- Advocates for Antitrust Enforcement Say Consumer Welfare Standard Only One Layer of Competition Law
- In Law More Than a Year, MOBILE Now Advocates Say Act Requires Further Implementation for 5G Deployment
- Broadband Roundup: Texas Reaches T-Mobile Settlement, Closing the ‘Homework Gap,’ Broadcast Ownership
- UTOPIA Fiber Announces Completion of Latest Round of Funding, a $48 Million Network Expansion
- Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Intellectual Property4 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data6 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Privacy and Security3 months ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Antitrust3 months ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup
Expert Opinion5 months ago
Geoff Mulligan: A ‘Dumb’ Way to Build Smart Cities
Antitrust3 months ago
Broadband Roundup: Everyone (Almost) Gangs Up on Google, Muni Broadband Fact Sheet, SHLB Anchornet Conference
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set
Broadband's Impact5 months ago
Law Enforcement and Advocates of Facial Recognition Technologies Battle Misconceptions