Over the past several years, states have steadily increased their efforts to expand broadband access. State policy serves two critical functions in shaping broadband policy: determining how broadband will be deployed and clarifying how stakeholders may conduct and participate in deployment efforts.
Although policies vary, noticeable patterns exist across all 50 states, including establishment of state programs, defining of acceptable speeds and other goals, creation of funding and financing programs, designation of approved providers, and regulation of access to the infrastructure that providers need to build and maintain broadband networks. Trends in these policies offer lessons for improving broadband availability, outcomes of public programs, and grantee accountability.
In this series of publications, we explore these differences and trends in state broadband policy.