Today, James Madison Institute joined a coalition of market-oriented organizations in expressing opposition to federal policies that would increase government control of broadband in the name of closing the digital divide. Andrea O’Sullivan, Director of JMI’s Center for Technology and Innovation, offered the following comment:

“Bridging the digital divide is a laudable goal that we share, and our organization has outlined some principles for policymakers to follow in promoting broadband access. Unfortunately, some of the ideas currently suggested on the federal level violate those principles. The proposals under consideration would enable and encourage local governments to favor their own government-run broadband projects at the expense of private providers who are regulated by those very same governments. Such an uneven approach could squander the goodwill and tax dollars of Americans who want their governments to pursue pragmatic and effective solutions to connectivity challenges. Rather than working against the private sector, public-private partnerships should focus on bringing networks to unserved areas and helping low-income Americans subscribe to existing networks. We hope lawmakers will avoid these failed approaches and adopt policies that would actually bring more Americans online.”