Broadband for America Hill Briefing

Broadband for America hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill this week covering a wide variety of broadband topics. Taking part in the discussion was Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr., Broadband for America Co-Chair; Dr. Sanjay Udani, Executive Director of Internet & Technology Policy, Verizon; Kevin McElearney, Senior Vice President of Network Engineering, Comcast Cable; and Eric Voit, Director of Technology Architecture, Cisco.

Harold Ford Jr. kicked off the panel citing a Wall Street Journal article, detailing the decline of entrepreneurship in the United States, and warned the audience that the country cannot be complacent and that entrepreneurship remains the backbone of the US economy.  

The Wall Street Journal: “Three long-running trends suggest the U.S. economy has turned soft on risk: Companies add jobs more slowly, even in good times. Investors put less money into new ventures. And, more broadly, Americans start fewer businesses and are less inclined to change jobs or move for new opportunities”

Overall the panels were bullish on the United States and were quick to point out the enormous progress made by firms over the last twenty years. For example, Kevin McLearney of Comcast talked about the importance of technological infrastructure and the need to stay above demand. Furthermore he pointed to the $2.1 trillion dollars US firms have invested in broadband over the last twenty years.    

Dr. Sanjay Udani also said that that compared to other countries, the United States remains one of the leaders in technology and that comparing the US to others can be misleading but added that the core of the internet has changed drastically and that it is constantly adapting and that firms must adapt as well.

With regards to the future, the panel talked up the importance of telemedicine, app simplicity and the need to further grow so that the United States and its firms can maintain their edge in the technology marketplace.