Copps Says U.S. Needs Broadband Strategy

Making broadband available to the masses is as important as universal access for phone service, yet the United States is “in the ditch” in terms of its worldwide ranking for broadband access, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said yesterday during a keynote speech at the NTCA show in San Diego.

“It’s time to think of broadband and universal service hand in hand,” Copps said, yet the United States is one of the only industrialized countries without a clear broadband strategy.

Today, people need access to “PANs pretty awesome new stuff” as much as they do to POTS, he said. “This competitive world of ours is not going to make time for rural companies to catch up,” he added.

Yet the United States is ranked 16th in the world in terms of broadband availability, Copps said, noting “our broadband ox is in the ditch.” So the FCC needs to be more active in helping expedite the availability of broadband and making it more affordable, he said.

“Why is it customers in other countries get so much more speed for [their] broadband buck?” Copps asked. People keep asking what the killer application is for broadband, he said, but the answer is the delivery of more bandwidth at more affordable prices.


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