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Friday, August 13, 2010

The broadband future will be postponed

Its worth noting some recent items that confirm that broadband is a low priority in the "advanced democracies":
1. Google's defence of its net neutrality compromise with Verizon (instead of Amazon's approach) is that nothing would happen until way after the midterm elections otherwise, and reading between the lines, if the Tea-Baggers won those elections, nothing might ever happen.
2. The UK is now not aiming for universal broadband until 2015 - no cash left from previous government, they claim, in this as in all things. At least they're measuring what consumer get, even if they're not properly enforcing advertising rules on what they're promised.
3. Broadband penetration in US and Western Europe is topping out at about 60-65% of population, and users don't think extending this to the last 35-40% is a priority. As Neelie Kroes (working in August please note!) wonderfully put it, 30% of Europeans are "digital virgins". Don't expect them to get some soon - except via whatever mobile offers them.
Expect a go-slow on broadband policy in the next 1-2 years as we await global growth, even if Germany just put on a spurt. It promises to be a hard autumn for net neutrality advocates.

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