Letters: U.S. broadband defended

Re "Why the U.S. has to settle for low-speed data," Column, Aug. 25

Michael Hiltzik could have noted the fact that America is among the world's leaders in broadband choice, availability and quality.

The U.S. is one of two nations featuring three universally available high-speed networks. Eighty-five percent of U.S. households can access wired networks capable of 100-megabit-per-second service, while only half of Europe's homes can access even 30 Mbps. Basic services here are the second most affordable among members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Average speeds are in the top 10 globally and rising faster than the nations ahead of us.

If American states were ranked among other nations, they would claim 10 of the 13 fastest broadband speeds in the world. And we've achieved this without the massive taxpayer subsidies that financed broadband networks in Europe and Asia.

Europeans are abandoning the regulatory approach advocated by Hiltzik and law professor Susan Crawford, as has the Obama administration (and the Bush and Clinton administrations before that).

Michael K. Powell


The writer, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is the president and chief executive of the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.


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