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FCC chief calls on cable industry to boost broadband adoption

17 июня 2011

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, urged the cable industry to "step up" and help improve broadband adoption in the U.S., which he views as too low.

At an annual conference hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in Chicago this week, Genachowski said broadband adoption is crucial for U.S. efforts to revive its economy and compete with rival economies in a globalized world.

He said recent progress on improving broadband adoption in the U.S. has not been satisfactory, and government and private industry have to be more aggressive in addressing the problem.

The FCC's study of broadband adoption rates shows roughly one-third of U.S. consumers that have access to broadband service opt not to subscribe, because of cost concerns and other factors. By comparison, 90% of consumers in Singapore use broadband.

Genachowski said the U.S. adoption rate is "so far from good enough that we can't be satisfied with slow, step-by-step, incremental improvements on this."

He said cable companies have participated in commendable efforts to increase broadband adoption, specifically noting the commitments made by Comcast Corp. in its efforts to gain regulatory approval for its landmark deal to acquire a majority stake in NBCUniversal. However, Genachowski was adamant that a stronger effort was needed, and Michael Powell, a former FCC chairman who is now the head of the cable industry's interest group, assured the chairman that he can count on cable companies to help.

Genachowski said broadband access--the cable industry's most profitable and fastest growing business--is a key tool for U.S. workers at a time of high unemployment and a widening income divide between the haves and the have-nots in the nation. He said 80% of Fortune 500 companies only post their job opportunities and accept applications online.

"If you don't have access to the Internet you can't even find out that jobs exist, and you can't apply for a job," said Genachowski. "If people don't have basic digital skills, they're not even a candidate for a lot of jobs."

Источник: Total Telecom

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