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Connected Nation's Comments to the FCC

In early April, the FCC released its thoughts on a National Broadband Plan. This week, the FCC began receiving answers—from hundreds of organizations and people-- to its posed questions.

Connected Nation was one of those organizations, offering its thoughts on how and why Americans deserve widespread broadband. You can read our full comments here.

In the meantime, here’s a quick breakdown of our key points:

• The Broadband Data Improvement Act, viewed holistically, is an effective guide for establishing an integrated and comprehensive approach to broadband data collection, benchmark creation and progress measurement.

• Effective and useful broadband mapping must be locally-driven through public-private partnerships and used in combination with Form 477 subscriber data.

Communities must be empowered with the proper tools for increasing broadband adoption

Affordability should be addressed within the context of other broadband barriers, particularly computer ownership among families with children at home.

A community-driven approach to increased broadband adoption will advance the specific policy goals of the national broadband plan, as set forth by Congress.

Overall, our thoughts can be summarized with the following:

“An effective national broadband plan should empower bottom-up engagement in addition to top-down programs, as Congress charges in the Broadband Data Improvement Act. Empowering local community leaders with the knowledge and tools to take action should be the priority of our national broadband plan. Federal agencies should work hand-in-hand to support state and local leaders as well as the individual consumer – both urban and rural – with meaningful resources and tools for improving broadband access and use in every American community. Every community is different, and every community has unique challenges, needs and goals. It is local leaders who understand the importance of broadband for the growth of their communities, and they understand the importance of community-specific, pragmatic technology plans to expand broadband network infrastructure and increase adoption of broadband services. If we are to achieve meaningful broadband expansion, we must work together as a nation, at all levels and in both directions – from the bottom-up and the top-down, and across both the public and private sectors.”