Kevin Taglang of the Benton Foundation outlines the findings of a recent GAO report, Federal Broadband Deployment Programs and Small Business, and concludes that The Government Makes the Internet Better.
- The Government Makes the Internet Better, by Kevin Taglang, Benton Foundation Blog (March 14, 2014)
Although it did not garner much coverage, an independent, nonpartisan analysis of federal funding for broadband infrastructure and the existence of municipally operated networks finds that both have resulted in improvements in U.S. broadband service.
- Federal Broadband Deployment Programs and Small Business, GAO-14-203: (Published: Feb 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2014). full report [pdf].
Improvements to broadband service have resulted from federal funding and the existence of municipally operated networks. Service providers have used federal funding for expansions and upgrades, such as building out to previously unserved areas and replacing old copper lines with fiber optic cable, resulting in faster and more reliable broadband connections. GAO examined broadband services for 14 federally funded and municipal networks and found they tended to have higher speeds than other networks.