Universal Affordable Broadband for All Americans



Universal Affordable Broadband for All Americans
How to Modernize Universal Service for the 21st Century and
Connect Americans to a New Era of Digital Opportunity

Jim Kohlenberger
Senior Fellow, Benton Foundation


For more than 200 years, Americans have approached the future the same way that Huck Finn looked at the bend in the river: even though we didn’t know for sure what was coming next, we always had a sense of limitless possibility about where we were going and where it could take us. Americans, whose ideas have changed the world, are the ones who have been able to see around that bend, catch a glimpse of the future, capture its potential, and ensure that all Americans can partake.

Today, as we reach a new bend in the river, we must strive once again to look around that bend in order to harness the full power and potential of what the future may bring. Never before have we seen a river of opportunity as expansive or swift as the data that flow over the Internet. The opportunities are potentially endless and as significant as the invention of the steam power and electricity that fueled American prosperity at earlier junctures. But America’s digital prosperity won’t happen by accident, nor continue by inertia. It will only happen if we make pragmatic and smart choices about our communications future.

Kohlenberger calls for universal broadband service for all Americans and lays out a plan with pragmatic steps for getting there.

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