Ten (Suggested) Commandments for Closing the Digital Divide

May 23, 2022

 

  • First, take advantage of market competition by allocating funds via reverse auction.
  • Second, allocate funding on a technology-neutral basis to prioritize functionality.
  • Third, set reasonable, non-symmetrical speed thresholds that will actually benefit consumers.
  • Fourth, focus on first serving those who currently lack broadband entirely, rather than overbuilding.
  • Fifth, target individuals’ needs by putting money in the pockets of consumers.
  • Sixth, collaborate with other states and the federal government to learn from mistakes and converge on the best practices for efficient deployment.
  • Seventh, evaluate internal regulations and remove barriers to broadband deployment that would eat up time and money without getting services to citizens.
  • Eighth, weed out unsound bidders by withholding full payment until the promised project is complete.
  • Ninth, resist calls for government-owned networks, except as a last resort, and rely instead on experienced broadband providers with economies of scale.
  • Tenth, provide ongoing oversight to incentivize successful project completion.