Creating a Broadband Data Dashboard to Support Federal Communications Commission Decision-Making

Authors: Blair Levin, Gregory Rosston, Scott Wallsten


The Biden-Harris Administration should launch a concerted broadband data-collection and analysis effort to support smart, timely, and informed decision-making by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other agencies that work on broadband, such as the Rural Utilities Service. Specifically, the FCC should collect (or work with others to collect) comprehensive data on the following eight indicators:

  1. Broadband deployment

  2. Broadband adoption

  3. Broadband performance

  4. Competition

  5. Pricing

  6. Anchor institutions

  7. Specialized networks

  8. International benchmarks

These data should be centralized on a “broadband data dashboard” to support informed decision-making by the FCC as well as analysis and application by stakeholders in government and industry as well as the general public. The dashboard would also support the FCC in developing and assessing progress towards clear, quantifiable goals for each indicator.

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About the Authors

Blair Levin has worked at a high level at the intersection of broadband policy and capital markets for the past 25 years. From 1993–1997, Levin served as Chief of Staff to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. In 2009, Levin co-led the technology transition team for President-elect Obama. He returned to government service from 2009–2010 to oversee the development of the National Broadband Plan for the United States. Levin is currently an equity analyst at New Street Research and a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Project of the Brookings Institution.

Gregory L. Rosston is Director of the Public Policy program at Stanford University, the Gordon Cain Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and Professor of Economics (by courtesy). Dr. Rosston previously served as Deputy Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission. Dr. Rosston received his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and his A.B. with Honors in Economics from University of California at Berkeley.

Scott Wallsten is President and Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute and a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. Wallsten is an economist with expertise in industrial organization and public policy, and his research focuses on competition, regulation, telecommunications, the economics of digitization, and technology policy. Wallsten was the economics director for the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and has been a lecturer in Stanford University’s Public Policy program, Director of Communications Policy Studies and Senior Fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a Senior Fellow at the AEI – Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, an Economist at The World Bank, a Scholar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a Staff Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.