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Diane Publishing Books
Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century. Like electricity a century ago, broadband is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life. It is enabling entire new industries and unlocking vast new possibilities for existing ones. Fueled primarily by private sector investment and innovation, the American broadband ecosystem has evolved rapidly. The number of Americans who have broadband at home has grown from 8 million in 2000 to nearly 200 million last year. Increasingly capable fixed and mobile networks allow Americans to access a growing number of valuable applications through innovative devices. But approx. 100 million Americans do not have broadband at home. Broadband-enabled health IT can improve care and lower costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades, yet the U.S. is behind many advanced countries in the adoption of such technology. In early 2009, Congress directed the Fed. Communications Comm. (FCC) to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure that every American has “access to broadband capability.” Congress also required that this plan include a detailed strategy for achieving affordability and maximizing use of broadband. Broadband networks only create value to consumers and businesses when they are used in conjunction with broadbandcapable devices to deliver useful applications and content. To fulfill Congress’s mandate, this plan seeks to ensure that the entire broadband ecosystem — networks, devices, content and applications— is healthy. It makes recommendations to the FCC, the Executive Branch, Congress and state and local governments. Figures.
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