SAN MATEO, Calif., May 11, 2009 - States looking for answers to many questions on how to implement the broadband stimulus program should look to California, said a group of experts Monday during a panel at the Tech Policy Summit on the "state of the state."
M2Z Networks CTO Milo Medin said California's state-based mapping data shows approximately 96% of Californians have access to 1.5 Mbps broadband. But San Fransisco Digital Inclusion Project Director Emy Tseng said that the number only measures availability of broadband -- not adoption.
Tseng acknowledged the importance of mapping broadband availability and cost in determining adoption rates. But it isn't enough to say "broadband's there, let's move on," she said. "We need to actively entice citizens to connect."
Adoption could be pushed forward with education applications, Medin said. He compared a lack of home broadband access to a textbook that can't be brought home from school. But it's not enough for government to promote connectivity, he said, suggesting that those who are connected need to push those who aren't to get on board.
San Francisco is taking a lead in pushing adoption in low-income communities, Tseng said. Not only are public housing units being equipped with broadband connections by the city, she said, but the city is installing refurbished computers so residents can use those connections.
But availability doesn't equal adoption for applications either, Tseng cautioned. One example she cited is a San Francisco program in which school offer parent-teacher interactions via the web. While Tseng called it a "great offering," such programs don't help the 20 percent of low-income families that don't have broadband at home, she said. And the move of job postings and applications to "online-only" methods puts these low-income households at an even further disadvantage, she added.
- Africa’s Informal Sector Marred by Small Manufacturing Base and Low Technology Adoption, Brookings Experts Say
- Wireless Internet Providers Excited About Multiple Spectrum Sharing Opportunities, Including FCC Priority Access
- FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks Gives the Broadband Scoreboard at SHLB: FCC Maps-0, Libraries-1
- Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Tackles Question of Public Versus Private Auction of C-Band Spectrum
- FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Touts Work on Enhancing Telehealth and Flexible Spectrum
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Broadband Data5 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Intellectual Property3 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data4 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Privacy and Security1 month ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Antitrust1 month ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup
Expert Opinion3 months ago
Geoff Mulligan: A ‘Dumb’ Way to Build Smart Cities
Antitrust1 month ago
Broadband Roundup: Everyone (Almost) Gangs Up on Google, Muni Broadband Fact Sheet, SHLB Anchornet Conference
Broadband Roundup2 months ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set