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Broadband Revolution - highlights

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Welcome. My name is Michael Calabrese. I direct the "Wireless Future" program at the New America Foundation, a think tank here in D.C. of course. This is "Broadband Revolution", a plan for developing a national broadband strategy to keep the US prosperous in the 21st century. FCC COMMISSIONER MICHAEL COPPS: I think we should start with a White House Broadband Czar, someone to take charge of coordinating the effort and making sure that all of the needed resources are brought together. The first job is the federal government getting its act together, making sure that all the agencies and departments are working in tandem. Is the Department of Housing and Urban Development making sure that every new low-income housing project is wired for high speed broadband when the building goes up? Or will the Department of Agriculture make its broadband loans about making sure it multiplies, rather than replicates, the efforts of the Universal Service Fund? If 99% of schools and libraries now have the Internet, might the Small Business Administration be interested in seeing if we could leverage that to create a wireless network in surrounding areas where there is no broadband currently available? Shouldn't the Department of Education be brought in to promote computer literacy so our kids can learn how to use all of these tools that are going to spell the difference between opportunity and poverty for them? FCC COMMISSIONER JONATHAN ADELSTEIN: The way economists look at this is externalities. There are things that broadband brings -- benefits, that don't accrue to the company itself that invests in it. In other words, the profits that are derived from these broadband networks don't take into account all the benefits to society as a whole. As a result, there won't be an optimal level of investment if you look at the marketplace alone. That's why our global competitors have implemented broadband strategies. We've made some progress here in this country but we're behind. I won't quote all the statistics, you know them all. But we face challenges on adoption, availability, competition, affordability The one key factor I like to emphasize, because we all fight about pentration rates no point getting into those debates. I mean, there should be no question. America should be number one by any standard! Why are we sitting here debating, well it's really not number 15 when you take into account households, we're move up to number 12 Well, isn't that great? I think we ought to be a little more ambitious in our goals. I think America should be number one. That's how we have led the world in our economic power in the 20th century and we're going to lose that edge in the 21st century if we don't do better. According to the most recent data, we're seeing that the US is 11th in the price per megabit. That's the one statistic I like to look at. If you go to other countries like Japan, they get four times as much speed for, um, I guess, we pay four times as much for broadband that is one-tenth as fast as Japan. You can't continue leadership that way. and that's so true and on top of all that, they're all expanding at the same time you can't look at one area and say it's all the broadband you need for that area because they're all expanding at the same time And as a person from Nortel recently put it the key in looking at bandwidth capacity is video as we move to higher and higher definition video the Humvee, she said, high-definition video is the Humvee of broadband and as we move gradually into more and more usage of video our Internet traffic and our need, particularly at the local level not necessarily at the core of the Internet, but at the local level, is going to expand dramatically so, how much bandwidth capacity is enough? That's a very difficult question. It means -- the question itself means a lot of different things in a lot of different contexts. If you're talking about a particular application, if you're talking about a local network if you're talking about a natural network. Well, the way we asked that question in our report is to say, How much bandwidth capacity as a nation should we be striving for to ensure that our residents, our businesses and our institutions have enough to be able to use the applications that will enable us to thrive as a nation in the emerging knowledge-based information economy? And that's what we tried to do in our paper Now, our own conclusion is that we should be striving toward least 100 megabits per second of capacity by 2012, at least a gigabit by 2015, and that's all controversial. There are people who are going to say well, we don't need all that bandwidth capacity, at least everybody doesn't Some are going to say that's not enough. It takes a long time to build networks and by the time you build the networks we'll be past 100 megabits a second We'll be up to gigabit level Well we tend to view that we come out closer to those who say we need to do more Great nations build key infrastructure with a lot of headroom. They don't whine about advantages that others have-- supposed advantages others have. They do what it takes to be great and to stay great. Are we doing that? We haven't so far, but we can and we should and we will. If the voices of all of us work together to do this. JANE SMITH PATTERSON: We need to move our leadership at the national level We cannot get that last 16 percent without the help of a national broadband policy No state, in my opinion, can do that And I would simply end by saying to you this. The resolution of Representatives Eschoo, Doyle and Markey which is the Senate Resolution 191, titled 100 megabit nation as a national goal is very important that we support that Why is that? As a very small chlild I watched John Glenn and the astronauts train in the planetarium at UNC-Chapel Hill. They trained to learn to actually how do I guide myself by the stars as I try to circumnavigate the earth? What did it take? A national push - by a person who said we will get a man on the moon. He could have said a woman, right? But a person on the moon within the next decade and John Kennedy said that and Lyndon Johnson and this country and the legislature delivered that What we need is exactly that today, is a push from the leadership in this country and all 50 governors and the territory leaders of our country to help us move forward in our states and in the territories Our citizens really deserve nothing less and our economy will not be the economy you and I have known unless we have that. Second example - in the state of Iowa - and you'll see references to the state of Iowa in that report and the moral of this story is economic vitality and competitiveness Now, I'm not a native North Carolinian, you can probably tell that by my accent I grew up in Iowa, and we've made lots of jokes over the years about it being a rural state with cows and plows and all those kinds of things, and the area we come from is now actually a major economic magnet in the state of Iowa for the corn and soybean fields. Fairgrounds, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City under floodwaters thats the latest news that we have. But that part of the country invested early and significantly in the Internet. So the economic and educational opportunity in that area is not just the University of Iowa. That whole corridor, as it's now called, is a magnet for all kinds of jobs. It has led to growth of the economy, it has led to much greater diversity in that part of the state of Iowa and great job opportunities. People come there and they stay there because the quality of life and the quality of the jobs and the quality of the education. And the Internet made a difference. And if you look at the report you'll find a specific example looking at Cedar Rapids Iowa out competing with another town, Waterloo, because of broadband in that community BALLER: A country as great as ours is going to need a lot of different solutions what's most important here is that we're having this dialogue and I think it's fair to say that most of us in this room think it's urgent. We need to get moving, we need to move forward, we can't afford to sit back and let more time pass If we're going to be a great nation, we've got to move now.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 18 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Public Domain
Producer: New America Foundation
Director: New America Foundation
Views: 114
Posted by: ryancroke on Jul 17, 2008

10 minute highlight reel from the June 21 "Broadband Revolution" panel at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington DC.

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