What's missing from discussions in the US about broadband deployment?

August 22, 2017
Aspen, Colorado

What’s missing from discussions in the US about broadband deployment? Any assessment of the costs and benefits. That was the basic message that PURC director Mark Jamison conveyed to participants of the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in August 2017. He explained that broadband subsidies take resources from other parts of the economy, such as education and healthcare, and careful thought should be given to what is being given up for more broadband. He also called participants’ attention to studies that have shown that telecommunications subsidies for the poor make very little impact on the poor’s consumption of telecommunications. Instead low-income households treat the subsidy as extra income. This implies that an income subsidy would be more beneficial than today’s complex Lifeline program that has been subject to considerable fraud by telecom companies.


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