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Christopher Baker


Christopher Baker is a senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public Policy Institute. He works on issues that affect the availability, affordability and use of essential telecommunications and home energy services.

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Christopher Baker'sPosts

More States Hang Up on Telecom Complaints

Posted on 07/8/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteEach year, tens of thousands of frustrated consumers contact their state utility commission when they have a problem with a telecommunications provider. Most turn to the commission after unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the issue with their company. Utility commissions traditionally have the expertise and authority to resolve disputes fairly and effectively, as well as the capacity to work with consumers on an individual basis. We Can’t Hear You Now However, a growing number of states have recently decided to take …

Community Digs Deep for Superfast Broadband

Posted on 01/22/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteFrustration with sluggish, expensive or unavailable broadband has prompted a growing number of communities to find other options. Some 89 cities and towns in the U.S. have launched their own fiber-to-the-home networks, which many experts say is the fastest and most reliable way to access the Internet. The result: Places such as Chattanooga, Tenn., Bristol, Va., and Lafayette, La., now offer Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second,  or about 100 times faster than today’s average broadband speeds. …

High-Speed Networks Give Communities an Age-Friendly Advantage

Posted on 09/4/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteAffordable access to high-speed Internet networks provides communities with a powerful platform to help meet the challenges — and take advantage of the opportunities — associated with an aging population. This approach to community development deserves more attention from supporters of both age-friendly communities and community broadband networks. High-speed Internet connectivity enables a growing array of applications and services that create and enhance opportunities for health, participation and independence for older Americans.  A recent AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) report …

Ensuring Affordable, Reliable Communications Services

Posted on 07/24/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy Institute | TechnologyPhone companies are moving from traditional copper-wire telephone technology to wireless and broadband Internet-based services and standards. This transition clearly has advantages for consumers. But the abandonment of old-fashioned wireline service also raises concerns that some existing services may become unaffordable, unreliable or unavailable altogether. For many older adults in particular, such an outcome could have disruptive or dangerous consequences. Here are just a few of the public comments consumers filed in response to a Verizon proposal to permanently replace its copper …