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Congress Has Opportunity to Connect the Nation

Below from Link Hoewing over at the Verizon Policy Blog

Last night during the first presidential debate, Senator Barack Obama included the deployment of broadband technology to all Americans as one of the economic priorities he would establish if he became President. Senator John McCain supports the deployment of broadband technology and calls it a “top priority” to ensure deployment as widely as possible.

All year, both house of Congress have been considering legislation that would, among other things, establish grant programs to support mapping initiatives in the states to identify gaps in broadband deployment and to help fund the efforts of groups in the states, like Connected Nation, focused on promoting the deployment of broadband. The legislation, S. 1492, has passed the Senate and is now pending in the House. Over the last several years, we have made great progress in a number of states in promoting broadband deployment using mapping strategies and “e-teams” focused on encouraging deployment and helping people get training and PCs so they can take advantage of broadband.

There is abundant evidence that broadband technology can promote economic growth, energy efficiency, improved education programs and better health care. The multiplier effects of broadband technology are immense. Relatively small investments in broadband can encourage substantial returns in economic growth, new jobs and innovation. Dozens of organizations – from the Alliance for Public Technology to the Communications Workers of America to companies like Verizon and Cisco – support S. 1492. Congress can take a big step to promote a healthy economy by passing this legislation and I hope it does so today.