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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
November 9, 2007
(202) 289-8928
Broadband Data: What Do They Tell Us?
Transcript Released of June Event on U.S. Broadband Statistics

WASHINGTON D.C. - This past June, The Progress & Freedom Foundation hosted "Broadband Data: What Do They Tell Us and Do We Have Enough?" a discussion about the availability and reliability of broadband deployment and adoption data. Participants in the two panel discussions explored the current availability of broadband data, how such data are collected, and what else should be done to craft informed broadband policies. To coincide with the recent introduction of a bill to improve the quality of broadband data, PFF is releasing a transcript of the event.

Scott Wallsten, PFF Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies, framed the discussions by offering a series of questions. Wallsten asked the participants to consider: "What do the existing data really tell us? What do they not tell us? Do we have enough data to identify market failures if they exist? Do we have the right kind of information to evaluate whether proposed broadband policies will be effective?"

The first panel was moderated by Drew Clark, Senior Fellow and Project Manager of the Telecommunications and Media Project at the Center for Public Integrity. Participants included Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; Kenneth Flamm, Dean Rusk Chair on International Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin; John Horrigan, Associate Director of Research at Pew Internet & American Life Project; Derek Turner, Research Director of Free Press; Joseph Waz, Vice President of External Affairs and Public Policy at Comcast Corp.; and Dennis Weller, Chief Economist at Verizon Communications, Inc. The speakers discussed specific problems with data collection and possible problems with methodology. Participants also offered their interpretation of the data and discussed what it revealed about the state of broadband penetration in the U.S.

Participants on the second panel, moderated by Wallsten, were asked to address specific policy questions, such as exactly what data should be compiled and the methodology for collection. Speakers included Clark, Clair Kaye, Treasurer of Cumberland Internet Inc., Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Beth Shiroishi, Senior Director of Regulatory Policy & Planning at AT&T, Inc.; and Laura Taylor, Vice President of Research at Connected Nation.

Each discussion panel was followed by a question and answer period. Complete statements from the panelists and questions from attendees can be found in the event transcript. Video and audio streams of the event are also available on the PFF website.

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