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Tech Buzz 06/02

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

By Amanda C. Kooser • Jun 1, 2002

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A chicken in every pot. Broadband for every home and business.If the Technology Network (TechNet), a group of senior technologyexecutives, gets its way, that's what we'll be looking atin the not-too-distant future. TechNet is pushing the federalgovernment to adopt a national broadband policy with the goal ofhooking 100 million consumers and growing businesses up to 100Mbpsconnections by 2010. The proposal suggests implementing taxincentives and deregulation to encourage investment in thehigh-speed broadband infrastructure.

But Mark Cooper, director of research at the Consumer Federationof 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' dollarsto roll this technology out." He suggests that the problem isa lack of compelling applications rather than a lack of broadbandsupply. According to Cooper, 80 percent of U.S. residents haveaccess to broadband, but only 10 percent actually use it.

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