Broadband & Libraries

What is Broadband?

Broadband is the word used to, generally speaking, describe high-speed telecommunications and, more specifically, high-speed internet.

Why does it matter to libraries?

Because of the need for libraries to use broadband telecommunications services, ALA follows broadband deployment and build-out issues closely, focusing especially on accessibility, affordability and universal service concerns. In analyzing any particular broadband policy or legislative proposal, ALA asks several key questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • What is the impact of any proposal on accessibility to all communities?
  • What is the impact on the affordability of broadband services for libraries?
  • What public interest provisions are included in any particular proposal?
  • What is the impact on Universal Service and the E-rate program?
  • Is there an impact on the “diversity of voices and ownership” issues?

ALA has raised these questions in regulatory venues, primarily the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and during legislative proceedings. Public debate regarding broadband deployment is most likely to be before the FCC rather than Congress.