June 24, 2008 Posted by Nate Westheimer

Today, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein -- along with a dozen other industry leaders, like Vint Cerf, Larry Lessig, and NYC's Brad Burnham -- announced the launch of, a call for universal access to high speed, broadband Internet for the US. Broadband DeclineThe announcement, made at the Personal Democracy Forum, provided four principals for their cause: access, choice, openness, and innovation. The idea: in 2008 Broadband Internet can no longer be a luxury; and, like other public utilities, social and economic equality and advancement rests on flattening access to this technology.

Indeed, American innovation is at the heart of this argument and the group provided data to support their claims.

Since 2001, the United State's worldwide rank in broadband penetration has declined from 4th to 15th, behind Germany and France.

Broadband is also more expensive in the US, though relatively slower than many other countries.

When pressed on the group wasn't presenting an actual plan to fix these issues (just a leadership committee) Commissioner Adelstein replied that there was no lack of plans in front of the FCC, rather just a lack of leadership to push through the right plan.

Right as that answer may be (the upcoming changes within the executive branch were also cited), a real plan is needed for the general public to get behind. The leadership committee is a great start -- and they certainly stacked it with smart people from the right and from the left -- but I imagine most will await the plan before we can rally to what seems like a great cause.

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