Latest in Administration of federal assistance in the united states

Image credit:

White House says broadband is a 'Core Utility' just like power and water

Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
September 22, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Think you could survive in this day and age without access to a broadband connection? The White House has its doubts. A recent report from the Broadband Opportunity Council (under the auspices of the Oval Office) described broadband connectivity as an "essential infrastructure for communities" that "has steadily shifted from an optional amenity to a core utility" on par with water, electricity and sewers. According to the report, which was headed by the chairs of the US departments of Agriculture and Commerce, 51 million Americans lack access to download speeds beyond 25 Mbps. That's roughly a sixth of the national population.

Investigators "review[ed] every major Federal program that provides support for broadband" and found that even among agencies that can provide connectivity, some "lack specific guidelines to promote its use" while others lacked sufficient funding for proper implementation. The investigators also produced a list of 36 actions to improve accessibility that could be implemented within the next 18 months. One step include investing $10 billion to modernize federal programs like the USDA's Community Facilities program which works to bring connectivity to health clinics and recreation centers around the country. The investigators also suggested "creating an online inventory of data on Federal assets" like the Interior Department's stock of cell and data towers," and streamlining the broadband permitting process. And to ensure that these are implemented within the prescribed timeframe, federal agencies will have to regularly report to the investigative committee which itself will report to the NEC.

[Image Credit: Associated Press]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Netflix is raising the price of standard and premium plans in the US

Netflix is raising the price of standard and premium plans in the US

View
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets now take custom live data

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets now take custom live data

View
Jabra Elite 85t review: Noise-blocking comfort that rivals the best

Jabra Elite 85t review: Noise-blocking comfort that rivals the best

View
Intel's 11th-gen Rocket Lake desktop CPUs will max out at 8 cores

Intel's 11th-gen Rocket Lake desktop CPUs will max out at 8 cores

View
Watch a self-driving Roborace car drive directly into a wall

Watch a self-driving Roborace car drive directly into a wall

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr