Comcast executive VP David Cohen stood up tall for U.S.
broadband Thursday, saying Americans "are getting world-class broadband
from competing companies, and it's getting better every day." He ascribed
to parochial agendas the "running down" of U.S. broadband build-outs
by some critics and members of the press who he said use "selective statistics"
to back "unsupported hypothesis" that high-speed is not "first
He was speaking at a Mayors' Innovation Summit in
Philadelphia (Cohen was a top aide for former Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell).
Cohen cited the staggering figure of $1.2 trillion he said
the U.S. broadband industry has invested in less than two decades to build out
broadband infrastructure. He pointed out that is more than the entire GDP of
He said in Comcast's case, and the majority of other
companies, that was all private capital. "We received no government
subsidies or guaranteed loans," he said. Even in the recession beginning
in 2007, broadband companies have spent $250 billion, he said.
That investment has translated into almost two million U.S.
jobs and 11 broadband speed increases in 11 years in the case of Comcast,
"generally with no price increase....About 82% of U.S. households already
have access to speeds of 100 megabits or faster, [while] in Europe, that figure
is about 2% today," he said, citing The
New York Times.
Cohen had a "been there, doing that" answer to the
current flurry of 1 gigabit broadband announcements by Google. "While
we'll have a lot of fun today speculating about a what-if future of 1 gigabit
speeds," he said. "[T]he fact is: that future is already here for
those who can use it.
"Comcast first showcased its ability to deliver gigabit
speeds two years ago, at the national Cable Show in Chicago -- over the Comcast
plant -- well before anyone else was talking about it. And in the past year, we
started offering our business customers speeds of up to 10 Gigs. Where there's
a market for greater speeds, we are determined to meet the needs of that
market, and our existing network can do that."
He also pointed out that DOCSIS 3.1, which he
expected to start deploying in 2015, will be able to deliver several gigabits