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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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August 8, 2007 9:50 AM

What's Right About Broadband Deployment in the US

I’m back in the saddle following my trip out West and am working on a series of writeups based on my experiences, but I’ve put those aside for now in order to comment on a speech FCC Commissioner Michael Copps gave at the YearlyKos convention.

While his words covered a wide range of topics, one quote in particular that I picked up from this Ars Technica article pushed me over the edge:

“In his speech, Copps…did claim that broadband in the US is ‘so poor that every citizen in the country ought to be outraged.’”

For the most part I’ve stayed out of commenting on the current state of broadband deployment other than sharing my fundamental belief that more bandwidth is a good thing, no matter who’s deploying it. I don’t consider myself enough of an expert on global broadband deployment trends to speak authoritatively on if and by how much we’re falling behind other countries.

But there is one thing that I can say with complete confidence: there are communities across the country who should be and are ecstatic at the state of broadband deployment in their areas.

I’m talking about municipal FTTH projects like UTOPIA where today you can get a symmetrical 15Mbps connection for $40 a month, with the potential for 100Mbps already in place.

I’m talking about in AT&T; UVerse and Verizon FiOS communities where the deployment of advanced fiber networks have introduced new competition, resulting in declining prices and rising speeds.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that in vast swathes of the country “broadband” is slow, expensive, and sometimes unavailable. And I recognize the urgent need to formulate comprehensive strategies for fostering the continued deployment of broadband in order to maintain America’s position as a global leader in the use of the Internet.

But before we malign the entirety of US broadband deployment, let’s not allow overblown rhetoric to hog the entire spotlight without at least acknowledging the tremendous effort and investment being made in areas across the country to deploy advanced fiber networks.

By focusing on what’s going right instead of only lamenting over everything that’s wrong, perhaps we can more effectively identify what’s already working in order to formulate a better plan of attack to guide the growth of America’s broadband infrastructure.


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