Digital Public Media Networks to Advance Broadband and Enrich Connected Communities

35 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2010

See all articles by Ellen P. Goodman

Ellen P. Goodman

Rutgers Law

Anne Chen

University of Pennsylvania; Yale University - Information Society Project

Date Written: November 6, 2009


The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband workshops and several recent reports have documented national deficits in both the communications infrastructure and the narrative content necessary to involve the entire population in democratic decision making or to foster widespread economic and social flourishing. Information gaps are especially keen in the areas of investigative journalism, effective teaching materials, and content directed to underserved, minority, and poor populations. A number of these reports have called on digital public media – building on, but also transcending, the legacy public broadcasting system – to help correct these deficits. Our research suggests that there are tremendous opportunities to use digital public media to drive broadband adoption and exploit broadband capacity for the public purposes that animate this proceeding.

In theory, and in the best traditions and highest aspirations of American communications policy, these networks can maximize the “social dividend” of broadband technology. The potential is there, and can be realized if public media systems become more diverse, open, networked, innovative, technologically sophisticated, and focused on a service mission to meet public needs where the market will not go. We offer specific proposals in connection with this proceeding to further the efforts that many in the public media community are undertaking to realize this potential.

Keywords: broadband policy, public media, media policy, public broadcasting, intellectual property, public subsidies, communications, journalism, noncommercial media, Internet, networks

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Goodman, Ellen P. and Chen, Anne and Chen, Anne, Digital Public Media Networks to Advance Broadband and Enrich Connected Communities (November 6, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Ellen P. Goodman (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law ( email )

217 N. 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102
United States
856-225-6393 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

Anne Chen

Yale University - Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics