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A Car In Every Garage, Fast Internet On Every PC

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It’s a slow, but moving boulder. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) called on the Bush administration to make a commitment to making high-speed Internet access more widely available to small businesses and all Americans.

 A Car In Every Garage, Fast Internet On Every PC
A Car In Every Garage, Fast Internet On Every PC

This involves, he said, changes in regulations to ensure universal broadband access and adequate competition in the marketplace.

"To compete and win in the new global economy, we need a national broadband strategy that encourages competition and expands access," said Kerry, who is also Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

"Previous generations put a toaster in every home and a car in every driveway as signs of economic progress-it’s time we do the same with high speed Internet access."

Kerry criticized the Bush administration for failing to live up to its promises of universal high-speed access.

Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein echoed Sen. Kerry’s call for opening up broadband competition. "Only rational competition policies can ensure that the U.S. broadband market does not devolve into a stagnant duopoly, which is a serious concern given that cable and DSL providers now control approximately 96 percent of the residential broadband market."

Kerry also pushed the FCC to change its outdated broadband measurement methods, which have been cited by incumbent broadband providers as arguments against regulation and Net Neutrality.

The FCC has received similar criticism from within via Commissioner Michael Copps. "The FCC’s current efforts at data gathering are woefully out-of-date and out-of-whack," said Copps. The Commission is still calling 200 kilobits per second ‘broadband’ and assuming that if one person in a ZIP code has broadband access, everyone else does as well.

"This is 2007, not 1997. We need a more credible definition of speed and more granular measures of deployment, as well as to start gathering data on price and the experience of other nations."

The US is ranked about 15th in the world in terms of broadband penetration and speeds, maybe 16th, now that Hong Kong telecoms are offering up to 1 Gbps fiber connections for around $200 per month, about 30 times the speed of Verizon’s fastest fiber offering for about the same price. 

A Car In Every Garage, Fast Internet On Every PC
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