Cecilia Kang
Washington Post
December 3, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has said getting affordable high-speed Internet service to every American home would create jobs, fuel economic growth and spark innovation. Yesterday, representatives from technology and telecommunications companies, labor unions and public interest groups frequently at odds with one another agreed to provide the next president with a roadmap for how to accomplish those goals.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

That map could include tax breaks, low-interest loans, subsidies and public-private partnerships to encourage more investments in upgrading and building out high-speed networks, representatives from Google, AT&T and public interest group Free Press said during a panel discussion on broadband policy that also served as a coming-out party for their newly formed coalition.

The details of how to meet those goals still must be worked out by the group, whose aim is to bring more affordable high-speed Internet access to every consumer.

Many of the group members have been at odds with each other on whether the government should set limits on how much spectrum a company can hold, the use of unlicensed devices on fallow broadcast airwaves and net neutrality — the notion that network operators should be prevented from blocking or slowing Internet traffic. The formation of the group is an effort to move beyond their differences.

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