recommended reading

Broadband touted as driver of economic growth


As Democrats this week tout their proposals for boosting the nation's economy, two telecom policy observers argued Wednesday that more attention should be paid to promoting investment in broadband technologies.

"We all know that growth is driven by innovation," Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist for the left-leaning think tank the Progressive Policy Institute, said during a policy discussion sponsored by Bloomberg at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. "All innovation is being anchored by broadband."

He noted that while broadband touches most aspects of the economy, it has been undervalued as a driver of economic growth. In a paper he co-authored in July, Mandel found that broadband providers AT&T and Verizon topped a list of the top 25 non-financial companies that invested the most capital in the United States in 2011.

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., who now serves as honorary co-chairman for Broadband for America, which is funded by broadband companies, noted that broadband companies employ 10 million people in the United States and were responsible for 4.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2010. "The one bright spot for growth has been broadband," Ford said.

Mandel and Ford argued that the best way to spur continued growth in the broadband sector is for government to create a better environment by limiting regulations that might discourage more aggressive investment in broadband technologies. Mandel noted that if regulators make it more difficult for companies to make a good return on their investment, they won't invest.

Mandel was critical of the Federal Communications Commission for pursuing regulation aimed at addressing problems in the broadband sector that have yet to occur. Republicans and some broadband companies in particular have argued that the FCC's network neutrality rule, which bars broadband providers from discriminating against Internet content and applications, adopted in December 2010 is an example of this approach that has harmed investment in the broadband sector.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.