Genachowski to Push Broadband at Cable Conference

FCC chair will issue challenge to industry

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is like a dog with a bone when it comes to speeding broadband adoption in the U.S.—he just can't let go. Speaking to the cable industry this morning in Chicago, he’s expected to issue a challenge to those present, asking them to help him close the broadband gap.

Currently one-third of Americans, or 100 million, do not subscribe to broadband, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, because of cost, digital illiteracy, or irrelevance.

To increase the number of broadband subscribers, Genachowski will announce he is creating an FCC Broadband Adoption Task Force to work with the private and public sectors.

“Let’s work together to help close the broadband adoption gap and seize the opportunities of high-speed Internet,” Genachowski will say. “Connecting all Americans, in big cities and small towns, is critical to our economic future, to our global competitiveness, and to innovation in areas like healthcare, education, energy, and public safety.”

The cost of one-third of the nation not adopting broadband is high, Genachowski will argue. It's estimated at $55 billion a year, according to a 2010 study from the Digital Impact Group and Econsult Corp.