Federal Communications Commission

Connecting America’s Stories: 21st Century Economic Opportunity

July 15th, 2010 by Page Schindler Buchanan



Small business is a cornerstone of the American economy. From the growth of the Internet, small businesses have created more than 1.2 million new jobs in the last 10 to 15 years.
The National Broadband Plan is a key part of the recovery and reinvestment in America, ensuring we remain an economic powerhouse of innovation in coming years.  By getting people to work in new ways, spreading digital literacy, and ensuring reliable, affordable broadband access to all corners of America, our future will be brighter. 
Matt in Portland, Oregon
I'm sure I am one of a growing number of Americans who work over the internet. I basically can't live without affordable reliable high speed internet. It is the first question I ask when looking to move (which I do often). In the future there will be many many more people like myself out there.
Ellen Satterwhite, Policy Analyst with the Omnibus Broadband Initiative
This is the 21st century. We’re going nowhere but faster internet, more things online, more ways to interact and transact and work online, and I see the fact that the FCC has identified ways to channel this as hopefully impacting the future conversation.

At the end of the day, it’s about being competitive in a global economy and we can argue about whether or not we’re 14th or 17th all day.  But I think it will be reflected in our GDP, I think it will be reflected in how competitive our university graduates are with graduates around the world.  I think it will be about the US software industry remaining competitive, and those are very real consequences.
If we are going to create jobs in this country, then enabling small businesses to thrive is essential.  Today it isn’t just a luxury, but a necessity to be connected.
Darryl in Glade Spring, Virginia
Full service DSL or cable are not available at my home. We would like to set up a home based business but without affordable high speed Internet, it is almost impossible. DSL is available within a mile in one direction and 1/3 of a mile in another. As far as I can find out, no phone or cable company has a plan to get service to my address. Please help as soon as possible. Opportunities for a successful business are slipping away!
Dave Vorhaus, Economic Opportunity Team, National Broadband Task Force
There’s recommendations in place for public/private partnership for increasing broadband usage among small businesses by giving them better training in digital literacy, fee or discounted applications, access to counselors, things like that. …
In the job training section, it was really about putting job training online and making it more accessible for everybody.  So rather than having to go to Department of Labor One stops, which are physical locations, to take that concept and put it online, so that people can  effectively go through job training, get some career placement help, get some skills assistance, but to be able to do it online.
Making telework a more accessible option could give 17.5 million people a chance re-enter and join the workforce.
But opportunity has a similarity with real estate in a major way: location, location, location.  Being able to telework is a boon to businesses and workers, as talent can be sourced in a much more efficient way for both parties. 
Dave continues:
Telework – the goal was relatively simple – to get more people to telework, because there is an understanding that by allowing people to work from remote locations you can increase the productivity of workers, you can make businesses run more efficient.
Jim in Garden City, Idaho
My employer is combining and closing offices, pushing people to work-from-home. Broadband, for me, is a way of commuting, like the new Interstate Highway System was for commuters of the 1960s. Broadband enables people to live remotely and access the world. "I can't drive 55"
21st century jobs require digital literacy. 21st century businesses require connectivity.  As we rebuilt our economy, we must make sure that we build it for the century to come – with training, access and affordability.  Learn more about building economic opportunity with broadband in the plan and keep sharing your stories with us.

One Response to “Connecting America’s Stories: 21st Century Economic Opportunity”

  1. Deb says:

    The internet is a must have in all homes. Between ongoing online education, home business, work at home jobs, and so on it is the one thing that can move America forward and allow us to be better than the Chinese or other power house nations. I use the internet every day and I give away knowledge gained so others can continue learn as well. I use the blog approach to sharing knowledge (see so others can improve their economic situations.

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