Broadband Access

Overview

The term “broadband” is used to describe high speed Internet access provided by various technology platforms including cable, telephone wire, and wireless technologies. Broadband gives users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than “dial-up” Internet access provided over traditional telephone lines. While the numbers of new broadband subscribers continue to grow, a new report from the FCC estimates that between 14 and 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband internet service. Moreover, several international rankings indicate that the U.S. is lagging behind other nations in broadband accessibility, speed and cost. Americans pay more and get less for broadband service than many countries across the globe. Realtors® support a comprehensive national policy to stimulate the deployment of broadband in underserved areas of the U.S., increase data speeds and lower broadband prices.

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

N/A


In-Depth

Find NAR's letters, testimonies, bill updates, and more on the NAR Federal Issues Tracker


Legislative Contact(s):

Melanie Wyne
mwyne@realtors.org
202-383-1234

Daniel Blair
dblair@realtors.org
202-383-1089

Regulatory Contact(s):

Melanie Wyne
mwyne@realtors.org
202-383-1234

What is the fundamental issue?

The term “broadband” is used to describe high speed Internet access provided by various technology platforms including cable, telephone wire, and wireless technologies. Broadband gives users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than “dial-up” Internet access provided over traditional telephone lines. While the numbers of new broadband subscribers continue to grow, a new report from the FCC estimates that between 14 and 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband internet service. Moreover, several international rankings indicate that the U.S. is lagging behind other nations in broadband accessibility, speed and cost. Americans pay more and get less for broadband service than many countries across the globe. Realtors® support a comprehensive national policy to stimulate the deployment of broadband in underserved areas of the U.S., increase data speeds and lower broadband prices.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

Realtors® support policies to encourage the growth of strong viable communities.
A national broadband policy will promote economic growth and expand opportunities for home sales. A recent study concluded that in communities where there is access to high speed internet, property values are 6% higher. Communities prosper when they gain access to high-speed Internet. Property values increase, businesses grow and jobs are created. Broadband forms the infrastructure for the American economy’s digital future. Affordable high-speed broadband will soon become almost as important as water and electricity, and the absence of broadband makes a community a less attractive location for new investment and development. Furthermore, availability of “new economy” jobs is impossible in a community with little or no broadband access.

NAR Policy:

NAR supports the following Broadband Access Principles:

  • Every American should have access to a high-speed, world-class communications infrastructure
  • High-capacity broadband connectivity should be affordable and widely accessible
  • A variety of options should be considered to encourage quality broadband deployment and adoption including action by the public and private sector.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

In 2010, the FCC delivered to Congress its National Broadband Plan. The cornerstone of the Plan is a pledge to connect 100 million households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second broadband service over the next ten years.

Congress is now considering a number of proposals that would all contribute to increased broadband adoption. One measure aims to improve and modernize the USF (a fund created by an 11.4 percent surcharge on phone bills that is used to subsidizes rural and high-cost telephone service) to apply to rural broadband access. Other measures aim to increase access to wireless spectrum in order to increase the availability of mobile broadband.

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