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Broadband Policy Plans Kicked Off in D.C.

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Today, the three agencies responsible for allocating the $7.2 billion in stimulus funds for broadband met in Washington, D.C. The bottom line appeared to be a lot of hot air, including FCC promises of an open process to deliver a national broadband strategy within one year, and a lot of unanswered questions, such as how to define certain terms in the legislation. But, of course, these things take time. For now, I can hope that an open process helps offset the influence that carriers have traditionally had in the legislative process.

For those seeking to offer an informed opinion on the nation’s broadband strategy, I suggest you check out Saul Hansell’s three-part series on lessons from other countries, started today over at the New York Times. This first piece looks at why the U.S. has slower broadband speeds than countries such as Japan and Korea. I have disagreed with him in the past, but he accurately lays out how the U.S.’s low population density plays a huge role in limiting our current broadband speeds. While I think slow broadband is a bigger problem than he admits, I can hope that in future articles he’ll talk about how policies and a lack of competition also affect those speeds. We welcome the conversation.

2 Responses to “Broadband Policy Plans Kicked Off in D.C.”

  1. another point about places like japan and korea. prices have already hit rock bottom and coverage is universal. that leave speed as one of the only things left to compete on. i believe that is we forget about speed for a while and focus on maximum coverage and lowest possible price the speed issue will take care of itself in the way of competition. particularly with wireless technologies. europe has near universal UMTS coverage while the US does not; but it is important to remember that europe had total GPRS coverage before they even started building out UMTS. here in the US we tend to begin building out the next technology before the build out of its legacy network is complete; this keeps many users with no service and prices sky high.

    if we could get the 4 major wireless carriers to all offer value priced(equivalent to the cheapest tier DSLplans or slightly higher) unlimited data plans at EDGE/CDMA speeds everyplace their network is marketed than with time the speeds will catch up.same with wired. if the prices come down they will not have room left for all the fancy ‘new customer promo deals’ and will instead compete on speed and quality.