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IIA creates 2 new initiatives for universal broadband

Fri, 08/01/2008 - 8:10am
Traci Patterson

The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) – which is preaching that broadband access should be an early and high-level priority for the next Administration – has created two new initiatives: Broadband Ambassadors and a National Broadband Strategy.

Broadband Ambassadors is a collective group of Internet executives and academics that are coming together to address the value of universal broadband.

Broadband Ambassadors supporting the initiative include: Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena; Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo; Michael Gallagher, CEO of Entertainment Software Association; Brian Mefford, CEO of ConnectedNation; Russell S. Lewis, SVP of strategic development at VeriSign; Mark McLaughlin, former EVP at VeriSign; Craig Moffett, senior analyst at Sanford Bernstein; and Bret Swanson, senior fellow and director of the Center for Global Innovation at The Progress & Freedom Foundation.

The National Broadband Strategy initiative is a set of goals that complement and accelerate efforts in the marketplace to achieve universal adoption of affordable, high-speed Internet, according to the IIA.

“The next Administration must work with political and community leaders in Congress and the States, innovators and entrepreneurs, content creators and Internet users to offer and embrace a National Broadband Strategy,” the IIA said. “Such a strategy must harness market forces and robust competition.”

The three primary objectives for the next Administration, according to the IIA, are

  • Provide investment incentives and encourage public-private partnerships to expand broadband infrastructure and availability.
  • Adopt policies and incentives to promote transformative applications and ongoing innovations that accelerate America’s global competitiveness and address major national challenges, such as energy efficiency, health care cost, and quality and educational opportunity.
  • Expand broadband adoption by ensuring all citizens possess the digital literacy and technological awareness to make valuable use of access and critical applications.

“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s history,” said IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman. “To compete and win in the 21st century, we must ensure the United States capitalizes on the extraordinary economic, technological and societal opportunities presented by broadband. The benefits are undeniable and compelling.”

Among the benefits more recently identified:

  • A 7 percent increase in broadband adoption could result in $134 billion per year in total direct economic benefit to the American economy. (ConnectedNation)
  • For every 1 percent increase in broadband adoption, 293,000 permanent private sector jobs are created. (The Brookings Institution)
  • Broadband-based remote monitoring for all chronically ill patients could reduce hospital, outpatient and drug expenses by 30 percent – reducing overall health care expenses for the U.S. by roughly 25 percent, or about $350 billion annually. (Robert E. Litan with Criterion Economics)
  • Wide adoption and use of broadband can achieve a net reduction of 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas in 10 years, which, if converted to energy saved, would constitute 11 percent of annual U.S. oil imports. (American Consumer Institute)  

The 4-year-old IIA is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that are committed to building a stronger Broadband America.

The IIA is starting an online petition drive to build support for the need for such a strategic vision and plan, and consumers can sign the IIA National Broadband Strategy Petition here.

More Broadband Direct:

• Congressman snaps at FCC's Comcast slap

• Cablevision exceeds 2M VoIP lines

• BigBand Networks' Q2 revenues down 21%

• Entone secures $14.5M in venture funding

• Veraz cuts one-third of staff, reorganizes

• IIA creates 2 new initiatives for universal broadband

• Nielsen Mobile, Mediamark team up on audience targeting tool

• Broadband Briefs for 8/01/08

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