About the World Broadband Foundation
Who We Are
Our core group is what we consider to be the real stakeholders in today's digital economy, the tech workers, content creators, entrepreneurs, and otherwise classified "power users" whose careers and livelihoods are directly impacted by the quality of broadband service we have access to, whether it's to do our jobs or just as a means of keeping up in today's modern economy. We've compared notes and experiences across different borders and oceans, laying the groundwork for a knowledge-base built on this for the greater good. Bad broadband availability along with poor policy can affect anything from slipping a deliverable deadline to being a very real barrier to education and productivity for the average person which in it's worst cases can have dire social and economic implications. In addition to this core group we also represent those who are disenfranchised about their current broadband offerings and have either been passed over and are looking to improve their local communities, as well as those with interest in locating to a region that with a progressively minded and future-thinking broadband approach. We are happy to work with any organizations that are actively involved in improving the state of broadband or communities that fully appreciate the value that broadband investments can bring to their lives.
1) The foundation's primary purpose is to develop and administer the World Broadband Map which aims to be 100% crowdsourced from actual active connections whenever possible and not from "advertised" speeds or availability. Key elements include : - broadband availability, caps, censorship and speeds of any location in the world. At both a macro/country and region level as well as micro street level details. - Quick "At a glance" comparison of this information around the world with problem areas highlighted (such as lack of availability or dearth of competition) as well as favourable areas. - "executive summary" of regional developments and news. i.e. legislative changes, infrastructure investments, anti competitive behaviour. - "report card" of providers, service history (positive and negative) and types of service available.
2) The foundation recognizes that a global perspective is key and essential. Therefore, the foundation also exists as a network of member organizations of citizen/consumer run advocacy and watchdog groups worldwide as well as "good citizen" ISP's that are not just providing a service but are forward thinking, civically minded and dedicated to advancing infrastructure forward with the customer's best interests first . In addition to our own advocacy, fact finding and research we also encourage member organizations to network and share each other's challenges and solutions. The standards of broadband around the world today have diverged widely and an "assumed standard" can no longer be taken for granted.
3) Assistance in raising and providing funding for deployment of broadband in economically disadvantaged areas including those of low population density or community broadband projects in monopolised areas aka. "broadband of last resort". Funding can also be allocated for the purpose of advocacy/civic action by member organizations. Fiscal sponsorship of community foundations to assist in timely implementation is also a future goal
* This foundation is a firm and unequivocal believer in net neutrality and in freedom of access and speech.
* While speed is an important metric, usage caps and metering are even more important considerations in choosing where to locate and which service to choose.. Usage Based Billing may have it's place in some situations i.e. low income communities, but not at the expense of flat rate/unlimited options or at the exclusion of other business models.
* Broadband is not just a technology investment but an economic investment that will not just affect property values but also affect the productivity and economic strength of any region or country
* Wired and Wireless broadband are both essential and complements of each other but at the time of writing, we focus on wired broadband as wireless is not yet a dependable replacement for wired instrastructure.