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Tech Buzz 06/02

The future of a national broadband policy and virtual private networks for small businesses

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This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A chicken in every pot. Broadband for every home and business. If the Technology Network (TechNet), a group of senior technology executives, gets its way, that's what we'll be looking at in the not-too-distant future. TechNet is pushing the federal government to adopt a national broadband policy with the goal of hooking 100 million consumers and growing businesses up to 100Mbps connections by 2010. The proposal suggests implementing tax incentives and deregulation to encourage investment in the high-speed broadband infrastructure.

But Mark Cooper, director of research at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), says TechNet is taking the wrong approach. "The private sector guys have a failure of creativity," he says. "They want to spend a lot of tax payers' dollars to roll this technology out." He suggests that the problem is a lack of compelling applications rather than a lack of broadband supply. According to Cooper, 80 percent of U.S. residents have access to broadband, but only 10 percent actually use it.

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