California: A Broadband Leader?
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -While the State of California has a ways to go in the broadband department, a major step forward was taken earlier this month when current Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary Sunne McPeak was tapped to head the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a project created from the mergers of SBC and AT&T and of Verizon and MCI. For details, please click here.Secretary McPeak’s responsibilities will include overseeing the development of broadband infrastructure for the CETF. She truly understands the need for California, with its 6th largest economy in the world, to play a crucial role in strengthening U.S. broadband competitiveness. As pointed out by my fellow Cisco bloggers, we are lagging behind countries like Japan and Korea whose citizens now enjoy much higher broadband speeds at much lower costs than we do in the U.S. California must invest in next generation, ultra high-speed broadband and work to ensure that connectivity is available to all, including underserved communities if it wants to compete successfully in the new economy. In 2003, TechNet rated California 14th among the states in broadband policy. California lagged because of its lack of a coherent broadband deployment strategy as well as significant regulatory burdens.Having worked with the Secretary in her various roles over the years, I can honestly say that if anyone can help move the state forward on broadband, it’s McPeak. Her vision, drive and execution are unparalleled. Point of Reference: Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Routing & Service Provider Technology Group, Mike Volpi, is an appointee to the CETF.