Telecom industry divided on need for broadband plan By: Howard Solomon On: 16 Mar 2010 For: Network World Canada: CAIP comments
April 22, 2010

The U.S. communications regulator has a wide-ranging plan for the country to become the nation with the fastest wireless network in the world. Some industry experts here say we should have a plan of our own, while other say it's not needed

Few in the Canadian telecom industry would argue with the U.S. communications regulator declaring that “broadband is a foundation for economic growth.”

However, when the Federal Communications Commission unveiled an aggressive 360-page national high speed Internet plan Tuesday vowing to ensure every American has “affordable access to robust broadband service,” experts here were wildly divided on whether we should follow suit.

“Of course” we should have a national broadband policy,” said Robert Yates, co-president of the Montreal telecommunications consultancy Lemay-Yates Associates Inc.

A number of other industrialized nations including Britain, France, Japan and Australia have one, he said. Meanwhile, “we’re just sitting on the sidelines.”

Tom Copeland, chairman of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, which represents a number of small ISPs, agreed. “I think they are headed in the right direction,” he said. “They’re trying to ensure Americans have the 21st century tools they need.”

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