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Keeping national broadband useful, usable, and a hotbed of innovation

John Horrigan of Pew Internet & American Life project wonders what their online research says about possible national broadband policies, if we were ever to have one. The essay begins this way:

…America’s middling standing in world rankings on broadband adoption has served as a call to arms for the new administration to develop a national broadband strategy…

The body of research from the Pew Internet Project, dating to 2000, indicates that online Americans might have one more suggestion: Make sure the internet remains a place where users define what it means to be digitally connected.

John points to many-to-many collaboration as the new wave, and refers us to research showing that while 42% of cell phone users use them for something other than making a call, that number is even higher for minority groups. So, a national broadband policy should not only keep the bands open for innovation, but it should cover wireless devices and other devices. And, suggests John, as e-gov services are rolled out, they ought to be held to a very high standard for usability.

Only connect“? Nah. Connect everyone, with whatever devices they want, and with the freedom to go where they want and invent what they want.

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