Key Figures Say Broadband Survey Results Demonstrate Need For Bold Action

Rep. Matsui says programs must be in place to help Americans overcome cost barriers
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The FCC's unveiling of broadband survey results-indicating
that price and digital literacy are impediments to adoption-have generated
immediate response.

"The recent survey conducted by the FCC demonstrates the need for bold
action to bridge the digital divide in this country," said Rep. Doris
Matsui (D-Calif.). "The survey identifies that the high cost of broadband
services is the main reason that lower-income households are not connecting to
in-home broadband services, even when services are available.  As part of
any plan to substantially increase broadband adoption rates, including in the
National Broadband Plan expected to be released in March, programs must be in
place to help Americans overcome these cost barriers."

Matsui has introduced a bill that would require the FCC to create a universal
broadband assistance program that mirrors the lifeline program for phone
service in the Universal
Service Fund
.

She urged the FCC to mirror her bill in its recommendations in the National
Broadband Plan, due to Congress March 17.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which supports the
Matsui bill, put in a shout-out for its own Adoption Plus plan. "The FCC
survey confirms that increasing broadband adoption in the U.S.
will require a holistic approach to address the key reasons why consumers have
not yet subscribed, including affordability, relevance to their lives, lack of
a computer and inadequate digital training," said NCTA President Kyle
McSlarrow in a statement. "Major cable operators recently proposed an
innovative Adoption Plus broadband program targeted at millions of
middle-school students from low-income families that would combine discounted
service and equipment with digital literacy training."

"It is no surprise to find that high-speed Internet access is too
expensive, and that the high price is keeping people from going online,"
said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn. "The best cure for high prices
is vigorous competition. The FCC should make certain that it includes as part
of its National Broadband Plan provisions to create the competition that will
bring down prices and produce better services for all Americans."

The FCC's unveiling of broadband survey results-indicating that price and digital literacy are impediments to adoption-have generated immediate response.

"The recent survey conducted by the FCC demonstrates the need for bold action to bridge the digital divide in this country," said Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.). "The survey identifies that the high cost of broadband services is the main reason that lower-income households are not connecting to in-home broadband services, even when services are available. As part of any plan to substantially increase broadband adoption rates, including in the National Broadband Plan expected to be released in March, programs must be in place to help Americans overcome these cost barriers."

Matsui has introduced a bill that would require the FCC to create a universal broadband assistance program that mirrors the lifeline program for phone service in the Universal Service Fund.

She urged the FCC to mirror her bill in its recommendations in the National Broadband Plan, due to Congress March 17.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which supports the Matsui bill, put in a shout-out for its own Adoption Plus plan. "The FCC survey confirms that increasing broadband adoption in the U.S. will require a holistic approach to address the key reasons why consumers have not yet subscribed, including affordability, relevance to their lives, lack of a computer and inadequate digital training," said NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow in a statement. "Major cable operators recently proposed an innovative Adoption Plus broadband program targeted at millions of middle-school students from low-income families that would combine discounted service and equipment with digital literacy training."

"It is no surprise to find that high-speed Internet access is too expensive, and that the high price is keeping people from going online," said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn. "The best cure for high prices is vigorous competition. The FCC should make certain that it includes as part of its National Broadband Plan provisions to create the competition that will bring down prices and produce better services for all Americans."

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