Wireless RERC on the Record – Broadband Research Agenda

October 10, 2016 – The Wireless RERC, in collaboration with Georgia Tech’s Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP), submitted comments in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) request for public comments to inform the development of a National Broadband Research Agenda. Comments suggested several avenues of research to ensure that development and deployment of broadband connectivity and applications are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Some of the Wireless RERC and CACP suggestions for the national research agenda include:
- The collection of evidence-based statistical user needs data and conduct of summative research to understand not only technological but social, cultural and usage barriers to deployment and access for all citizens.
- Undertaking deep-dive research to examine the optimal speed of broadband transmission and deployment of broadband equipment, software, and content, and front-end consultation and testing with consumers is critical to improvements in both expanding broadband infrastructure as well as for accessible end products and services.
- Identify technological barriers to using these technologies as well as develop device prototypes and processes for inclusive technologies.
- Explore: 1) technology driven collaborative practices, 2) interoperability barriers, and 3) translation barriers between federally funded research, technology manufacturers and services providers.
The CACP and the Wireless RERC emphasized the importance of including accessibility for people with disabilities to the greatest extent possible as part of the conceptualization and articulation of the research agenda. We urged that 1) accessibility implications of future connected technologies be a high‐level consideration when planning federal level technology development strategies and policy, and 2) proactively consult people with disabilities throughout the development and implementation of the National Broadband Research Agenda.