Brad Feld

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Broadband: Don’t Get Fooled Again

Feb 07, 2009

On the eve of the passing of the massive “economic stimulus package” (I was really hoping it was going to be more than 1 trillion so Dr. Evil could start saying “1 trillion dollars”) we are hearing “broadband broadband broadband.” 

I’m going to be spending the day tomorrow at the Silicon Flatirons Conference titled The Digital Broadband Migration: Imagining the Internet’s Future and I’m speaking at 9:45 on the panel titled Overview Panel: The Internet’s Challenge to Policymakers.  It’s clear that I’ve been set up as my co-panelists are:

  • Kathryn C. Brown, SVP of Policy, Verizon, Former Chief of Staff FCC
  • Kathleen O’Brien Ham, Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs, T-Mobile
  • Dale Hatfield, Adjunct Professor, University of Colorado, Former Chief Engineer Federal Communications Commission
  • William Kovacic, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission
  • Bryan Tramont, Silicon Flatirons Senior Adjunct Fellow, University of Colorado, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP

I guess I’m the dude that gets to say “telcos – please get out of the way.”  Coincidentally, as I was catching up on my email this morning, I ran into a note from Bob Frankston (of Visicalc fame) pointing in response to this conference pointing me to his post titled The Broadband Internet?  It’s a brilliant post that is right on the money.  The punch line:

“Today people know that they want more “Internet” so they ask for more of the same by saying “broadband”. Our future lies in universal connectivity and simplicity. We can do better than living in the past glory of telecommunication.”

I really hope “Broadband” and “Internet” don’t get conflated.  Our friendly neighborhood policy makers need to make sure they know the difference.