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Comcast exec insists Americans don’t really need Google Fiber-like speeds

Published Jun 5th, 2013 4:55PM EDT
Comcast Executive Google Fiber Criticism

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It seems that cable companies really don’t think that American consumers need 1Gbps Internet services such as those offered by Google Fiber. We’ve already seen both former Time Warner Cable CFO Irene Esteves and National Cable & Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell dismiss delivering gigabit connectivity as “an irrelevant exercise in bragging rights,” among other things. And now we have Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen, who has penned an editorial for The Philadelphia Inquirer insisting once again that offering gigabit speeds would be pointless because “most websites can’t deliver content as fast as current networks move, and most U.S. homes have routers that can’t support the speed already available to the home.”

Cohen says that once there’s real demand for 1Gbps services then “a competitive marketplace of wired and wireless broadband providers will be ready to serve it.” For good measure, Cohen says that Comcast and its fellow Internet providers are the modern-day equivalents of Benjamin Franklin, a pioneering inventor who was similarly attacked by detractors during his life.

It goes without saying that Cohen’s assertions that America is a utopia of competitive high-speed broadband services are at odds with the perceptions of American consumers, who recently gave American ISPs an even lower customer satisfaction rating than airlines on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. Among other things, the ACSI survey showed that American consumers are particularly unhappy with ISPs’ call center service, with the variety of Internet plans they offer and with their quality of online video streaming. Cohen’s own Comcast ranked at the very bottom of the pile with a customer satisfaction rating of just 62 out of 100.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

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