Wednesday, December 27, 2006

WSJ columnist calls on federal government to speed broadband deployment

The Wall Street Journal is America’s flagship newspaper of free markets and free enterprise. It’s not known for advocating regulation and government involvement in business. When it comes to the business of deploying broadband Internet connections, however, a WSJ columnist suggests the business model has failed and can’t be left to its own devices. The federal government should launch an effort to hasten the build out the nation’s telecom system to accommodate more and faster broadband connections on a par with the Eisenhower-era program to build the interstate highway system, WSJ technology columnist Kara Swisher said at a recent Silicon Valley forum. “The government has got to get behind this, like it did with the public highways,” Swisher was quoted as saying.

Another panelist, the WSJ’s Walter Mossberg, a product reviewer and technology columnist, lamented the relatively slow speeds available to U.S. broadband users. “We need real broadband,” Mossberg told the panel, calling American broadband “pathetic” compared to what’s available in other countries.

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