The U.S. needs a broadband policy targeting unserved areas that’s backed by action, not just words, said several speakers at a technology forum in Denver.
The U.S. has gone from “leader to laggard” in broadband rollout and adoption during the past eight years under Republican President George Bush, said Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, speaking Tuesday at a forum hosted by Silicon Flatirons, a tech law center at the University of Colorado, held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
In early 2004, Bush called for broadband to be universally available across the U.S. by 2007, but that hasn’t happened, Rockefeller said at the technology forum, which was webcast. “Despite all the rhetoric about improving Americans’ access to broadband, the Bush administration never made achieving their goal a serious matter,” he added. “Why? For starters, deploying broadband is really hard work.”
While several other speakers at the forum joined Rockefeller in calling for a more aggressive broadband rollout policy, others at the event questioned if the U.S. was as behind other nations in broadband adoption as some studies have suggested. Commonly quoted statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which rank the U.S. 15th among its 30 member nations in broadband adoption per capita, ignore several factors, said Michael Katz, an economics and business professor at New York University and former chief economist at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
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