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CONTACT: Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin
August 23, 2005
(202) 289-8928
Owens Calls for U.S. Telecom Vision
Nortel CEO Addresses PFF Aspen Summit

ASPEN, COLORADO - U.S. policymakers and industry officials need to have a visionary approach to network buildouts to compete with India, Korea and other nations, Nortel Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Owens today told an audience of public officials, executives and academics at the 11th Annual Progress & Freedom Foundation Aspen Summit. In particular, Owens said, rural America needs to be included in planning and development of advanced high-speed networks.

"What's happening in rural America? What's happening in North Dakota?" he asked, referring to the state of his childhood. Having just returned from Korea, he said he saw tremendous innovation being built upon advanced broadband infrastructure, an infrastructure that is being upgraded with a nationwide 3G footprint. Owens said his concern is that U.S. leaders are less focused on the power of advanced networks to spur economic growth and consumer well-being. In particular, he would like to see a focus on ensuring 20 Mbps broadband throughout the U.S., including rural areas.

"I do think we need a broader vision for the growth of the nation," Owens said, adding he has seen that vision in India, Pakistan and Korea. The U.S. has several challenges, he said, noting the federal structure of government as one complicating factor. But he said he believed a broader vision was possible if think tanks and corporations worked with public policy officials.

The PFF Aspen Summit is in its 11th year, and is an annual gathering of public officials, industry executives and members of academia. Through keynotes, panels, and informal working dinners, attendees discuss the role of public policy in the digital age. More information is available on the PFF web site.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation