Getting states connected – closing the digital divide

By MARK HARMSWORTH  | 
May 18, 2020
BLOG

The internet has become a lifeline to those either out of work or for those who are now working at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Policy decisions by local, state, federal agencies and lawmakers can make the difference between having and not having a reliable and fast internet connection. For homes that don’t have good internet connectivity, a reliable connection can mean the difference between earning an income or not.

Today, the Pelican Institute joined other public policy groups (including the Washington Policy Center) across the nation in releasing policy solutions to help states close the digital divide following COVID-19.

These principals include,

  • Be technology neutral
  • Working with the federal government on broadband mapping
  • Reducing or eliminating state right of way fees and make state infrastructure available to speed up deployment
  • Reducing the cost and application times for 5G deployment
  • Utilizing electric co-ops infrastructure
  • Pass ‘dig once’ and ‘one-touch make ready’ policies
  • Streamline existing grant programs

Additionally, the solution publication also includes recommendations on policies to avoid that will inhibit the growth of broadband internet deployment.

You can read the full publication here.