Although the U.S. once led the world in Internet deployment and innovation, our nation continues to plummet in international rankings in terms of broadband adoption, speeds and costs. As a result, there is growing support for an affirmative national broadband policy to promote more affordable and ubiquitous access to high-bandwidth connectivity. Since 2001, the e-NC Authority of North Carolina has been at the forefront of state efforts to promote availability and adoption of broadband, particularly in rural and distressed urban areas. The e-NC Authority provides a vital state-level view of what it will take to make this essential 21st Century infrastructure available and affordable for all. At this forum the e-NC Authority will release and present a major white paper, prepared by the Baller Herbst Law Group, that comprehensively examines trends and issues in broadband deployment, including: * The growing benefits of broadband to economic development, education, health care, public safety, telework, urban revitalization, and environmental sustainability, and other key areas of American life; * Broadband deployment efforts in leading Asian and European nations and how they differ from the U.S. approach; * The level of bandwidth capacity that will be sufficient to enable America to thrive in the emerging knowledge-based global economy; * How national, state and local broadband strategies can contribute to America's success; * And policy recommendations to help North Carolina and the United States capture the full benefits of broadband in the years ahead. The panelists discussed the policy recommendations of e-NC and other participating organizations and their implications for developing a national broadband strategy to energize high-speed broadband deployment and adoption throughout the U.S.
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