White House Report: Broadband is a “Core Utility”

October 1, 2015

“Broadband has steadily shifted from an optional amenity to a core utility for households, businesses and community institutions.”

— The President’s Broadband Opportunities Council Report, Section 4.1

The White House recently released its Broadband Opportunities Council (BOC) report. President Obama launched the BOC last March in an effort to expand and promote broadband access.

The BOC made four broad recommendations:

  1. Modernize Federal programs to expand program support for broadband investments
  1. Empower communities with tools and resources to attract broadband investment and promote meaningful use
  1. Promote increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to Federal assets
  1. Improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband

A few key findings:

  • Three out of four Americans do not have a competitive choice of broadband providers
  • “Connectivity deserts” exist in some rural and Native American areas, with less than half of their populations having access to 25 Mbps speeds (compared to 92 percent of urban households)
  • “Anchor institutions,” like libraries and schools, have an opportunity to shape broadband policy and expand access to underserved communities

Perhaps most encouraging, the report calls on community organizations and foundations — along with the private sector, local, state and Tribal governments — to collaborate with the government to find solutions to identified challenges and help communities become ‘broadband ready.’

Read the full BOC report here [link no longer available]