Jun 122008

A new survey came out during a Broadband Policy conference here in DC. It was put on by Pike and Fischer, a subsidiary of BNA (http://www.bna.com/about/companies.htm) that looks at broadband from a policy perspective: http://www.broadbandpolicysummit.com/

The survey found that 40% of attendees ranked high speed as the most appealing advanced service, substantially more than services like HDTV or digital phone service. It’s a small sample of 280 people and it would be nice to see more details about the survey without having to buy the full $600 report (hint hint P&F), but Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica uses it to lead a good post on broadband that weaves in other recent studies from Akamai and the Communications Workers of America. The conclusion is we need to do a better job in this country:

Despite this difference, it’s clear that the US has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to broadband speeds. Pike & Fischer points out the fairly obvious (to us geeks, anyway): without high broadband speeds, millions of other features being offered to us by cable companies and telcos will have a harder time getting off the ground. “This suggests to us that, while multichannel video providers may be spending a lot of their ad dollars promoting their high-def channels and their ‘triple-play’ bundles, they still rely on their broadband speeds to seal the deal with customers,” Pike & Fischer Broadband Advisory Services Scott Sleek said in a statement. “Every one wants to claim that they offer the fastest Internet access, and believe that will be more important to customers than how many HD channels they offer.”


Drew Clark of BroadbandCensus.com was in attendance, and here’s his take on the keynote address by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps: http://broadbandcensus.com/blog/?p=23

I know Drew, and will try to get in touch with him for some additional color on the event. Of course the rub is how to get more speed to millions of Americans. What’s the biggest gating item — lack of accurate information, infrastructure investment, government support, consumer adoption to justify the investment needed for fiber to the home?

Content providers, service providers and government all have their particular perspectives, but can’t the parties work together and craft a strategy that serves the national interest while at the same time making economic sense?

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