Companies like Comcast have long spouted half-truths and outright lies about delivering “blazing fast speeds” via their broadband services. But fact back critics have long shown that the U.S. is falling behind other developed nations in providing high-speed Internet access to average citizens. Prime examples of this is South Korea and the 100% broadband penetration at 100mbps to the house, Switzerland 100mbps to the house and many other European and south Asian nations with 100 mb and Gigabit service.
But Comcast VP, Rebecca Arbogast, vice president of global policy (LOBBYIST) in its Washington DC, office says this is all a misunderstanding. In a talk with the members at a Free State Foundation policy forum talks that the “alleged failing and falling state of U.S. broadband” was based on outdated data and misinformation. Which clearly if refuted by famous hosting company Akamami’s State of the Internet report which was recently just released, as well as Consumer information site DSLreports.net. Lastly even the FCC, in its most recent state of the broadband report, concluded once again that high-speed broadband was not being deployed to all Americans in a timely manner, based on the fact that some people still didn’t have access.
When faced with the fact of the USA being 22nd in broadband connectivity worldwide, Arbogast called speed comparisons between the U.S. and densely populated areas like Korea were “silly at best.” Saying the U.S. has the second most affordable entry-level broadband and that the absolute price of broadband was essentially flat while speeds increase 900%. She pointed out that over the same time the cost of college has increased 72%. “That’s a real problem,” she said. “Broadband isn’t.” Arbogast continued saying, “It is not true… It doesn’t even rise to the level of ‘truthiness’ in the Colbertian sense”, and “That kind of disinformation is not a good basis for policy analysis.”
Finishing up her talk she switched to sales person pitch and said “[Broadband] adoption appears to have plateaued” and said, “everybody needs to do what they can.” plugging government subsidized “Comcast’s Essentials program”, which provides $10 a month 3mbps down / .5 mbps up broadband to low-income homes with school-aged children that qualify for assisted school lunch. Which sadly turns out more of a “shallow PR ploy” stunt at best and profit-making ploy at worst as blogger John Randall says from the Roosevelt Institute’s New Next Deal Blog entry reposted to Salon.com about the Comcast government subsidized service.
Arbogast is the Comcast Global VP of public policy, formally she was Wall Street’s more highly regarded “media analysts” for the firm Stifel Financial. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Stifel on August 10, 2011, claiming the firm duped five Wisconsin school districts into buying $200 million in “unsuitable” securities tied to collateralized debt obligations. With Arbogast leaving Stifle in September 2011 switching rolls from analysis to making policy for Comcast. Stifel is still involved in the lawsuit today.