Broadband & Civic Engagement
Civic Engagement Highlights
Broadband can inform our communities and increase the level of citizen participation to strengthen local communities and the fabric of America’s democracy. It can also expand opportunities to weave citizen-based innovation and collaboration into our government.
Release more government data online in open and accessible formats to enable the public to more actively participate in the civic life of their communities and their democracy and hold their government accountable
Our laws and legal decisions should be available to the public online. Furthermore, all data made publicly available should also be put online in easily accessible, machine-readable formats. By releasing data to the public, government can fuel opportunities for citizen-entrepreneurship, social innovation, and creative problem solving.
Expand public media’s use of digital online platforms and create a 21st century digital national archive to empower people with information on broadband-enabled platforms
Create a public media trust fund for digital content creation and distribution. Increase support for digital public media by increasing public funding and by narrowly targeting updates to copyright laws to expand educational use of content. The federal government should create Video.gov to serve as an archive to house the federal government’s digital video materials. This archive should be expanded to include opportunities for public and commercial media to contribute. These entities sit on a wealth of America’s civic DNA in the form of millions of hours of historic news coverage of wars, elections and daily life. Unfortunately, they often lack the capabilities and resources to make that content accessible to the public. Together, the federal government and America’s media institutions can solve this challenge in the public interest.
Increase opportunities for citizens to participate in the civic life of their local communities and to engage their government through social media and broadband-enabled tools, like smartphones, as well as open platforms and innovative partnerships
Whether utilizing social media such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with parents and children about the H1N1 virus, or using online tools to empower citizens to contribute their ideas into the stream of governance, broadband-enabled tools can inform citizens and improve government. Broadband unlocks the opportunity not only to integrate more ideas from outside of government through open platforms, but also allows citizens to implement these ideas through innovative partnerships.
Leverage broadband-based technologies to modernize delivery of government services and enhance democratic processes and ensure that they are accessible to all Americans
Broadband enables more citizens to obtain information and services from their government. In addition, high-speed access to the Internet can help citizens register to vote, and help ensure that our military men and women serving overseas have their votes counted.