Not many hours go by in Washington these days without talk of broadband policy, and this week was no different. At the National Press Club, the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies released their “Broadband Adoption Index” (or BAI), their methodology to provide a way to evaluate the value of broadband to society. The BAI demonstrates how the benefits of different broadband technologies can be examined and compared. The BAI doesn’t just count actual connections, it looks at the “value consumers and society get from adopting various broadband technologies.”
For example, in some countries around the world, mobile or cell phone connections are extremely valuable to those populations. In remote places where families may not own or have access to personal computers, a cell phone connection is a useful and vital link to the world. Alternatively, a cell phone connection in a typical American city may be valued much differently than the current 15Mbps cable connection that is currently available in that neighborhood.