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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Net neutrality

Battle for Web means nothing without access

The net-neutrality debate misses the larger picture [“Net neutrality gains political traction,” editorial, June 8], which is the enormous positive impact that is achievable by a prioritized effort to ensure broadband access and enable broadband adoption for all Americans.

Broadband is increasingly becoming a necessary, transformative element to modern life. It changes the way we work, how we learn and teach and how health care is delivered. Telecommuting cuts down on energy use and unnecessary car trips.

We cannot overstate the economic impact, to both the individual and the nation, of building out broadband infrastructure and making it available and accessible to all. But not all Americans have access to broadband, and not all Americans who have access are able to use broadband. Price or concerns about privacy and data security are barriers for some. For these individuals and communities, the degree of “openness” or “neutrality” of the network is irrelevant.

America can universally reap the rewards of broadband through its infrastructure deployment, removal of barriers to adoption and investment in more efficient and cost-effective smart networks needed for tomorrow’s dynamic and ever-evolving applications and content.

— Tom Gurr, Pacific Technology Alliance executive director, Issaquah

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