Friday, December 29, 2006

San Jose Mercury News calls for national broadband strategy

Decrying the United States' slow progress in attaining universal broadband service, the San Jose Mercury News writes the time for mere talk on deploying more broadband infrastructure is over. "Let's roll," the newspaper editorialized this week. "The faster, the better."

The newspaper urges Silicon Valley business leaders to lead the charge. "Not only is universal broadband good for society, it's good for the technology business. Intel will sell more chips, Hewlett-Packard more computers, Cisco Systems more routers, Google more ads. Telephone and cable companies see huge profits in delivering TV, Internet and phone service over fast land lines," the editorial states.

The editorial calls for a "cohesive national strategy" to achieve the goal of universal broadband access in the next three years including revamping the Universal Service Fund to subsidize broadband in rural areas and auctioning off television frequencies that won't be needed when TV broadcasters go to full digital transmission in 2009 to help underwrite the cost of making broadband service ubiquitous.

The editorial is part of a growing chorus of doubt that the telco/cable duopoly has the ambition and/or the capital to speed broadband availability on its own.

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