National Center for Digital Government Working Paper Series
Access to broadband is widely recognized as a prerequisite for a community’s economic welfare and the delivery of government services. In communities where the private sector is perceived as having failed to deliver adequate and affordable broadband services, municipal and county governments face pressures to stimulate broadband deployment. However, no systematic data documents the nature and status of municipal broadband initiatives, the comparative effectiveness of alternative policies for promoting broadband access, or their implications for local economic development, private provisioning of infrastructure, and the operation of local government. As a result, hundreds of communities are proceeding independently to develop their own strategy, without the benefit of the accumulated experience of those that have gone before, and with no assurance of success. The objectives of this project are to collect, analyze, and disseminate data about the nature and effectiveness of local government initiatives to stimulate broadband deployment, adoption and use, as well as the effects of such initiatives on local e-government and economic development.