Communications and Technology Resources for Policymakers to Address COVID-19
The communications sector of the economy is essential, especially during times of crisis such as this response to the Coronavirus. The communications sector allows people to work from home, students to learn remotely and families to order (and have delivered) all types of household products. The communications sector also allows for people to receive information, through the internet, radio, television and more.
This crisis raises questions of what can be done to ensure that everyone has reliable internet connections, reliable phone service, and all the tools necessary to communicate with each other. The Communications and Technology Task Force has some great resources for policymakers, including:
- The Telecommunications Deregulation Policy Statement – This statement provides principles describing the best ways to ensure continued, uninterrupted access to the internet and help close the digital divide are to eliminate barriers to deployment and avoid over-regulation of the market; and
- Six Principles for Communications and Technology – These principles state that the best way to promote growth and innovation is through removing outdated regulations and other barriers to entry and reminding governments that constitutional limits and protections apply at all levels.
As state governments react to remove regulatory barriers for the provision of basic services, the communications sector should not be left behind. Most Americans are fortunate enough to live in areas well-served by broadband providers. But states are far from universal coverage and those in rural and underserved areas ought not be forgotten. Trusting the market and eliminating regulatory burdens will go far to help close the digital divide.