proliferation of broadband across markets and
demographics will fundamentally change how we
communicate with each other. We have been waiting to see
how each of the presidential candidates sees the growth
of broadband unfolding.
Here is what we have
learned from recent
President Bush and Senator Kerry decry the recent figures that show that the
U.S. has dropped from 4th in the world in broadband
penetration to 10th. Bush blames this on
over-regulation, while Kerry believes that lack
of incentives is the main cause.
Bush has proposed that the federal government open up
federal land for access by broadband companies. He backs
the FCC’s efforts to deregulate fiber-optic connections,
is behind the development of broadband across electric
lines, and supports a permanent ban on Internet access
taxes. His main thrust is to provide incentives for
private companies to provide the growth in broadband.
endorsed new technologies such as powerline broadband,
it has been observed by Adam Thierer of the Cato
Institute that proposals for cutting regulations on
current providers of DSL, cable and satellite services
New York Times, "Mr. Bush
offered few new programs, endorsing a continuation of a
ban on taxing Internet access and promising to auction
parts of the government-controlled radio spectrum to
allow greater use of wireless broadband connections."
Kerry, on the other hand, is looking to take a more
active role in speeding the access of broadband to urban
and rural areas. He is proposing a 10% tax credit to
providers which increase access to those areas. He is also
proposing a 20% credit to companies that develop
next-generation broadband technology – with a minimum
speed of 20 times current broadband speed.
to ensure broadband access to all first responders
(police, firefighters, etc.) by the end of 2006. One of
the ways he wants to do this is by freeing up additional
spectrum for broadband by shifting from analog
broadcasting to digital. The new spectrums can be used
to provide access to first providers, with the remainder
auctioned off and the funds used to promote additional
encourages private sector investment in broadband access
– with more competition among providers. He believes
that this will create a dynamic marketplace that will
encourage growth and reduce prices.
To visit the
candidates' Web sites for more information, here are the