TechNet views the internet as a vital tool for people’s access to information and empowerment. With the rapid evolution of technologies, rising consumer demand for data, and the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), TechNet believes that policymakers should promote greater broadband connectivity. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as cable, fiber optics, fixed wireless, low earth orbit satellite, fifth-generation communications technology, and is used below to refer to all of them in a technology-neutral manner. The World Bank estimates that a ten percentage-point increase in broadband adoption can lead to a 1.2 percent increase in real per capita GDP growth. Policymakers should also support investment in broadband build-out and continued private investment in broadband networks and cloud services.
- Policies that facilitate continued private investment in broadband services and streamlined network infrastructure deployment, including at the local level.
- Policies that promote public/private partnerships in deploying broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved areas, as defined by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Robust funding and swift implementation of policies that expand connectivity and internet access in unserved and underserved areas, as defined by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, in a technology-neutral manner, including unserved and underserved anchor institutions, to facilitate online learning and the delivery of telehealth services.
- Policies that encourage and support the continuation of successful affordability programs for low-income subscribers like the Affordable Connectivity Program, including the ability for all broadband service providers to be part of the solution, without unnecessary regulatory burdens, and ensure seamless delivery of benefits and greater economic opportunity for consumers.
- Continued refinement of, and reliance on, the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection map, which will be the first-ever national broadband map showing specific locations where broadband service is and is not available.
- Policies that foster a light-touch regulatory environment and that encourage a competitive marketplace that spurs innovation and private-sector investment to ensure the U.S. remains a leader in the race to 5G and other technologies. According to the Brookings Institution, 5G networks and their related applications are expected to add roughly three million jobs and over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy.
- Policies to increase the availability of licensed, unlicensed, and shared spectrum, including for use by terrestrial and satellite services.
- Policies that increase access to, and participation in, the provision of advanced broadband services such as 5G and other services, including additional research and development funding and open-architecture systems such as open radio access networks.
- Responsible efforts to clear more federal spectrum for commercial use while protecting for public safety use, especially in the mid-band that will be critical for powering next-generation networks.
- Federal policy initiatives that can expedite broadband deployment, such as “Dig Once” or “One Federal Decision” and access to federal lands and buildings.
- Technology-neutral policies that reduce burdens on communications service providers, including easing restrictions on rights of way, speed cell tower siting and permitting, and prohibiting excessive pole attachment charges by some municipalities and co-ops, so that broadband buildout can expand rapidly.
- Policies that promote broadband adoption and digital literacy.
- Recognizing that the Domain Name System (DNS) is used in a widely distributed, multi-stakeholder manner and preserving its decentralized model that contributes to the internet’s safety, security, and reliability.
- The principles of net neutrality and a fair and open internet without heavy-handed regulation.
- Safeguards against intermediary liability.
- Policies that provide a safe and secure user experience and promote free speech, while responsibly addressing the use of internet platforms to spread disinformation.
- Policies that protect children from online sexual exploitation, including increased federal resources to the Department of Justice for investigation and prosecution, as well as the preservation of strong encryption standards that protect both the privacy and safety of children. TechNet’s principles on privacy can be found here.
- Policies to improve transparency for consumers shopping online, including the federal Information, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act, or the INFORM Consumers Act, which would create a national standard for seller information collection, verification, and disclosure. TechNet members have invested heavily in consumer protection. Any efforts to improve safety and transparency should ensure that they do not hinder the efficiency of existing tools that protect consumers from bad actors.