09.20.2004 02:11 PM
FCC report says United States falling behind

A new FCC report has found that despite growth, the United States is falling further behind other countries in rolling out high-speed Internet services.

The study determined that U.S. high-speed Internet lines had tripled to 28.2 million by the end of 2003 from June 2001, but the country at best was 10th place in international rankings down from fourth, behind nations such as Canada and South Korea.

President Bush has pushed for universal broadband access by 2007 while Democrat challenger Sen. John Kerry has pledged tax breaks to boost broadband deployment.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, said the agency had failed to establish a coherent policy for broadband, sacrificing the nation's rank. He also noted that service was as cheap as $10 a month in Japan for 8Mb/s versus $30-$50 for 1Mb/s to 3Mb/s in the United States.

Copps said that he thinks current efforts to deploy broadband services across the country are insufficient.

Still, the report showed the increase was three-fold over the 9.6 million lines as of June 2001. About 26 million of the subscribers were residential or small businesses.

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