Former Chair of the FCC, Bill Kennard, calls for a broad national debate on how get more broadband connections, especially in rural America. One of his two recommendations is for the adoption of “reverse auctions” or least-cost subsidy auctions for the disbursement of US universal service funds. Another case of policy innovations in the developing world seeping back into the developed. See LIRNEasia’s extensive work on this subject, based on the Indian universal service fund and the least-cost subsidy auction in Nepal.
“Any serious discussion of the future of the Internet should start with a basic fact: broadband is transforming every facet of communications, from entertainment and telephone services to delivery of vital services like health care. But this also means that the digital divide, once defined as the chasm separating those who had access to narrowband dial-up Internet and those who didn’t, has become a broadband digital divide.The nation should have a full-scale policy debate about the direction of the broadband Internet, especially about how to make sure that all Americans get access to broadband connections.”