The U.S. Conference of Mayors in conjunction with the City of Philadelphia and the Fox Business School at Temple University is holding an "Innovation Summit" this week, and today Comcast Executive Vice President David L.Cohen gave a keynote speech highlighting the success and innovation of the American broadband industry. Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer also featured an opinion piece by David, where he noted that as the hometown of one of America’s great early innovators, Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia is a great location to talk about modern innovation.
In the Inquirer, David wrote:
"More than $1.2 trillion in private-sector investment since 1996 has built a broadband network capacity that is simply unmatched in scope, speed and reach... The massive private investment has produced more than 2 million jobs, including 102,000 jobs in Pennsylvania since 1996. It enabled America’s innovation leadership in the International broadband economy."
This was elaborated on during the speech:
"It’s also no accident that virtually all of the leading Internet companies have their roots—and their greatest success—in the United States. McKinsey & Co. reports the U.S. is ‘the largest player in the Internet supply ecosystem,’ capturing more than 30 percent of global Internet revenues and more than 40 percent of global net income. These revenues are created at every layer of the Internet ecosystem—from web companies to application providers to device manufacturers. There’s a reason that companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Pandora, and hundreds of others got their start and their initial success in the U.S.—that reason is the trillion-dollar-plus investment by American broadband providers in robust and ubiquitous high-speed Internet connections."
David went on to talk about the innovation and investment broadband providers like Comcast are continuing to make in our networks like the 150,000 Wi-Fi hot spots customers can access around the country. An example of the importance of these networks occurred in the aftermath of the recent attacks at the Boston Marathon. Commercial mobile wireless networks were overloaded so Comcast opened its Wi-Fi network allowing anyone in the areas -- including non-Comcast subscribers and law enforcement – that had a Wi-Fi enabled device to connect and communicate. We’re innovating to bring even greater speeds, capacity and security to our broadband network.
"Comcast first showcased its ability to deliver gigabit speeds two years ago... 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," he said. It is important to remember though that the Internet is complex, "only as fast as its slowest link" – whether that be older servers, overloaded capacity or equipment in consumer homes that can’t take advantage of the speeds already available today. Comcast offers the fastest in-home Wi-Fi experience, with our gateways clocked at speeds up to 270 Mbps – the fastest commercial residential Wi-Fi speeds available.
We aren’t just giving consumers faster speeds, we’re actively trying to get even more people connected to the Internet with our Internet Essentials program. We’ve already connected 600,000 Americans through Internet Essentials – that’s a city the size of Boston, DC or Seattle. We’re proud to be working with America’s cities and mayors to get more people online.