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RELEASE: Experts Weigh in on Broadband Adoption

Topic Explored in Special Section of the International Journal of Communication
Published:   October 16, 2012

Washington, D.C. — Experts at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute (OTI) guest edited a special section on broadband adoption in the latest issue of the world-renowned International Journal of Communication out today. Guest edited by Seeta Peña Gangadharan, senior research fellow, and Greta Byrum, senior field analyst, the section features peer-reviewed selections first presented at an April symposium convened by OTI, “Defining and Measuring Meaningful Broadband Adoption."

This section launches at critical time, as policymakers and practitioners search for best practices and key metrics to identify the impacts of digital inclusion funding. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program—a $7.2 billion initiative to stimulate broadband growth across the United States—will sunset soon.

"Politicians and policymakers want to know: how well has it worked?" Senior Research Fellow Seeta Peña Gangadharan says. "This special section showcases fresh thinking and new methodologies to disentangle the complexity of broadband adoption. The advice and evidence laid out by contributors are instructive for all kinds of digital inclusion efforts."

Senior Field Analyst Greta Byrum agreed, saying "This publication provides a necessary critique of the 'if we build it they will come' approach to broadband policies."

Larry Gross, editor of the International Journal of Communication, said the section on broadband adoption will serve as an valuable asset.

“This special section exemplifies one of the reasons we founded the International Journal of Communication: to provide a platform for timely but scrupulous scholarly analyses that will make a contribution to the public understanding of important issues that are being decided right now," Gross said. "These assessments of the broadband adoption program by a large and distinguished group of scholars will be a significant addition to today’s deliberations as well as an important resource for future scholars examining the formation and consequences of telecommunication policies in the United States."

The special section on broadband adoption features contributions from:

• Robert LaRose (Michigan State University), Kurt DeMaagd (Michigan State University), Han Ei Chew (United Nations University), Hsin-Yi Sandy Tsai (Michigan State University), Charles Steinfield (Michigan State University), Steven S. Wildman (Michigan State University) and Johannes M. Bauer (Michigan State University)
• Charles M. Davidson (New York Law School), Michael J. Santorelli (New York Law School) and Thomas Kamber (Older Adults Technology Services)
• Colin Rhinesmith (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
• Karen Mossberger (University of Illinois at Chicago), Caroline Tolbert (University of Iowa) and Allison Hamilton (University of Iowa)
• Veljko Pejovic (University of California, Santa Barbara), David L. Johnson (University of California, Santa Barbara), Mariya Zheleva (University of California, Santa Barbara), Elizabeth Belding (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lisa Parks (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Gertjan van Stam (LinkNet, Macha, Zambia)
• Lisandra R. Carmichael (Florida State University), Charles R. McClure (Florida State University), Lauren H. Mandel (University of Rhode Island) and Marcia A. Mardis (Florida State University)

At the International Journal of Communication, Gross and Arlene Luck, managing editor, provided key editorial support and guidance.

To read the special section, click here.

For more information about the special section or to interview one of our experts, please contact Clara Hogan.

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