Broadband: the only way forward

Readers' Views No 242, March 2004
OECD Observer

Your call on governments to encourage broadband is welcome (news release, 12 Feb. 2004, see But what policies could possibly drive the process forward more quickly than it is already travelling?

Surely the market is pushing us in this direction anyway. Demand for broadband, wired and wireless, is rising. The emergence of a fast, always-on communications network based on open standards has spurred innovation in communications. Countries that don’t go along could soon resemble countries without electricity. Policy must tackle the dead hand of vested interests, particularly incumbents protecting their investments in outmoded proprietary systems.

The Internet Protocol has leveled the technological playing field. It is high time to level the commercial playing field as well. Let the market decide which particular technology or service works best. Broadband is the only way forward.

—Michiel Van Kuyen, Amsterdam, Netherlands

©OECD Observer No 242, March 2004

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