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Owens Slams US Broadband Efforts

By David Utter

Nortel's CEO sees the United States as falling behind countries like South Korea in broadband and wireless technology.

Nortel chief executive and former Navy man Bill Owens, speaking at the Progress and Freedom Foundation's Aspen Summit, criticized the US government for lacking vision with regards to high-speed and wireless technology, according to InfoWorld. Mr. Owens urged high-speed broadband providers to start providing some real speed, in the 20-megabit range.

With companies charging dearly for 3-megabit connections on a monthly basis, and the FCC eliminating third-party access to telecom DSL connections, there doesn't seem to be much motivation to meet that challenge.

Broadband users in South Korea and Japan enjoy 100mbps connections for fees equivalent to what Americans pay for far slower service. Mr. Owens doesn't endorse the kind of far-reaching government initiatives those countries utilized to make those connections a reality, though.

"There are great opportunities for us here as we look around the world and take lessons from other countries and realize that we can be a leader of this telecom world," Mr. Owens said in the article. "We shouldn't take the lead from Korea or Japan or India; we should start to have visions of our own."

He questioned whether anyone in government had that vision, which would go beyond the basic call for universally available broadband by 2007 made by President Bush last year.

About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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