National Broadband Strategy Summit: A Call to Action

In the 21st century, a world-class broadband Internet infrastructure will be as critical to economic well-being as water, electricity and transportation. Whether the U.S. is rapidly falling behind in broadband penetration, as some claim, or responding as market forces develop, as others see it, nobody denies that a strong, technologically advanced U.S. broadband infrastructure is critical to economic vitality and global competitiveness. Nor should we deny that national policy could advance or impede its development.

The U.S. stands alone in the developed world, the only economically advanced country without a National Broadband Strategy to provide a roadmap for development of this critical infrastructure. We propose to launch a non-partisan, broadly representative dialogue among America’s key stakeholders to facilitate the development of such a strategy for the United States.

The proposed National Broadband Strategy Summit, to be held in Washington, DC sometime in mid-2008 (TBD), will bring together a wide range of leaders from government, technology, business, health care, education, defense and the environment, for a series of strategic discussions about broadband access for all. It will include established Internet companies, telephone and cable companies that provide Internet access, and public interest groups. It will include nationally-known individuals representing a wide spectrum of political and industrial interests. It will attempt to achieve broad consensus on what a U.S. National Broadband Strategy entails.

Why is your participation necessary? Because the Summit will have a pivotal impact on the country’s broadband planning process, it’s crucial that the event is planned by a world-class group of thought leaders from a range of organizations. Your participation will help us to ensure that a much-needed perspective is included in the Summit’s themes and agenda.

What will you need to do? Participate in a series of monthly phone calls; assist in developing the Summit's program, and identifying speakers and participating organizations; and help spread the word about the Summit, and the need for a strategy that will ensure the most advanced U.S. broadband infrastructure possible.

If you'd like to join the planning process for this National Broadband Strategy Summit, please call Jim Baller (202-833-1144) or Gary Bolles (415-420-5493).