Policies to Increase Broadband Adoption at Home

Robert D. Atkinson November 5, 2009
November 5, 2009
If the United States is to achieve the promise of the broadband revolution it will need to ensure that a much larger share of Americans are subscribers.

While the vast majority of U.S. households can subscribe to broadband, far fewer choose to. Thus crafting effective policies to increase demand for broadband should be a critical part of a national broadband strategy aimed at increasing the number of individuals who use broadband Internet to drive productivity, enhance their quality of life, and benefit society. In a new report, ITIF details a number of policy proposals that could significantly spur an increase in broadband adoption by addressing critical barriers to adoption including cost, usability and the perceived utility of broadband access. These policies include:

1. Fund a competition for ISPs to attract new subscribers in low-income communities.
2. Support innovative pricing plans by ISPs.
3. Allow Lifeline to be used for broadband.
4. Use E-rate funds to help defray the costs of low income families owning a computer.
5. Extend and expand the moratorium on Internet taxes.
6. Fund digital literacy programs.
7. Create a digital literacy and broadband adoption clearinghouse.
8. Establish a reinvented TOP program.
9. Pass along cost savings to citizens that use e-government services.