Monday, May 14, 2007

Senator Rockefeller: US Must Become 100 Megabit Nation

US Must Become 100 Megabit Nation

May 10, 2007
U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV has introduced a resolution calling for the creation of a National Broadband Policy with the goal of becoming a “100 Megabit Nation” by 2015.
Rockefeller believes that, “A national broadband policy is critical to the future of our country,” and, “would provide a tremendous social and economic benefit,” to all Americans.
He cited popular video and social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace and how they have become such integral parts of society.
Rockefeller stressed that those popular sites are just scratching the surface when it comes to the transformational power of broadband.
“Expanded connectivity,” he said, “would allow doctors to diagnose remotely medical conditions, music students to study with an instructor hundreds of miles away, and scientists to monitor ocean floor vents from their offices on shore.
“As we all recognize,” he continued, “creating next generation broadband networks is crucial to our international competitiveness.”
Rockefeller proposed a roadmap towards establishing a set of goals. “The first step in going somewhere is to know where you are going, and the same is true in public policy. By the end of 2007, we should establish a national goal and pass a series of policy actions designed to achieve our national goal. There will likely be multiple parts to the plan, and we will likely need to modify those parts over time. But if we do not have a plan, we cannot expect to accomplish our goal.”
Rockefeller suggests policy actions such as tax incentives to spur the private sector to act more aggressively in pursuit of this goal. He believes that Government should offer low-interest loans, and he calls for reform of the Universal Service Fund to encourage broadband deployment.
Rockefeller added, “We should free municipalities to deploy as they see fit, we should ensure the wise use of wireless spectrum, and the list goes on.”
I, for one, applaud Senator Rockefeller for pushing the vision of the United States becoming a “100 Megabit Nation.”
Joe Savage, president of the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council, agrees. “In calling for America to be a ‘100 Megabit Nation,’ Senator Rockefeller’s resolution helps put us on the right track toward policies that will help get America wired with next-generation broadband and thereby preserve American competitiveness in the Information Age,” he said.

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