Just read an insightful blog post by Citizens for a Digital Future. The post addresses online education in my former home state of Florida. According the report, online education is bringing Florida students additional value. The questioned posed in the piece is what can Florida government, particularly the legislature, do to increase broadband access.
I would recommend two approaches. One, the legislature should advocate and support attempts by larger carriers to obtain spectrum from smaller carriers and broadcasters. Larger carriers with the technical and financial ability to generate economies of scale are in a very good position to deploy wireless broadband facilities into unserved or underserved areas of Florida. The legislature should understand that it’s not about the number of carriers. It’s about the quality of carrier.
Second, just like Florida contracts out for the building and maintenance of its highways and ports, the legislature should look at broadband as infrastructure. It should create broadband infrastructure funds dedicated to building the conduits necessary for deploying these services.
Florida, like any other state, cannot afford to fall behind in the new knowledge economy.