Broadband Issues Echo Electrification Debate of Decades Ago

The analogy to rural electrification that Adelstein makes is apt because just like electricity, broadband services are vital to the growth of all communities.  The other parallel is that deployment of broadband is a local matter.  Once again this administration is saying the right things but not following up with any action.  The National Broadband Plan has some nice goals, but there is little discussion of implementation.  Subsequent discussions at the FCC revolve around continuing to milk the ability of the copper in the ground.  Yes that will increase rural penetration somewhat cost-effectively at the expense of being behind in bandwidth delivered.  We need to build these networks targeting mid-century needs, not 20th century needs.

Mytheos Holt, Reporter-Researcher,

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010 – Today’s broadband expansion throughout the United States faces similar challenges to wiring the nation with electricity decades ago, and the nation’s businesses, consumers and government must work together to tap into the resources that high-speed internet access offers.

In the keynote address prior to’s panel on challenges to adoption and availability of rural broadband, Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein stressed a number of areas where his agency could improve its broadband outreach, while offering a vision for the future and a historical context for the present debate.

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