NTCA Brings Together Diverse Group for Broadband Adoption Summit

White Paper Release Accompanies Discussion by Policy and Consumer Representatives

Arlington, Va., (April 6, 2011) - Representatives from a broad range of consumer, government and policy interest groups met today in Washington, D.C., for an informal dialogue about broadband adoption challenges and opportunities. The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) hosted the Broadband Adoption Summit to generate a discussion encompassing a variety of perspectives on the issue and to identify possible collaborative opportunities for finding ways to overcome the many barriers to adoption. NTCA also unveiled a white paper on the subject during the event.

Larry Strickling, the Department of Commerce assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), opened the summit with remarks highlighting how broadband deployment and adoption are economic development drivers that enhance our global competitiveness. He referenced President Barack Obama's goal for the United States to "win the future" and noted that NTIA plays a lead role in the Obama administration's broadband agenda. Strickling acknowledged that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach to solving adoption issues, NTIA is engaged in several outreach programs that target groups with historically low adoption rates, including ethnic, disabled and senior populations.

NTCA Economist Rick Schadelbauer presented a white paper, "All Aboard? Tackling Broadband Adoption," which examines the issue from several angles, leveraging three recent studies on adoption to explore the size of the problem and the underlying barriers that prevent nonadopters from subscribing to at-home broadband service. The paper also examines the potential benefits of increased adoption to individuals and the macroeconomy and proposes high-level next steps toward achieving policy-makers' goal of universal adoption.

Following the white paper presentation, NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield facilitated a discussion during which participants shared examples of their own adoption efforts and explored pathways to increasing broadband adoption in America. The group also discussed ideas for communicating the many benefits of broadband to various population segments. Participants identified numerous opportunities for collaboration and exchanged information on broadband education initiatives currently underway.

Participating at the NTCA Broadband Adoption Summit were: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Telemedicine Association, American Library Association, Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Action Partnership, Connected Nation, Federal Communications Commission, Housing Assistance Council, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, John Staurulakis, Inc., National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, National Cooperative Business Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Grange, National Information Solutions Cooperative, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Rural Telecommunications Finance Cooperative.

View NTCA white paper, "All Aboard? Tackling Broadband Adoption"


The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association is the premier association representing over 570 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.Contact NTCA at 703-351-2037