Broadband Plan Could Help Online Adult Industry

Rhett Pardon
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – President Bush gave the online adult industry some great news on Friday.

He is pushing for affordable broadband access for all Americans.

"We ought to have universal, affordable access to broadband technology by the year 2007 and then we ought to make sure, as soon as possible thereafter, that consumers have got plenty of choices," Bush said in remarks to supporters in Albuquerque, N.M.

Bush didn't offer details but said accomplishing the goal will help keep the country on the cutting-edge of technology.

And with additional audiences who can surf the Internet more efficiently, the porn industry is bound to catch a massive wave.

“It’s going to be a fact: Adult volume will increase,” online adult webmaster Jamie Sheds said. “It may be window-dressing for a political season, but the real reason he announced this is that he probably wants less regulation in the broadband industry.”

A recent comScore survey indicates that a shift from dial-up to broadband will continue with strong momentum, with more than one in four Internet users reporting that they intend to switch ISPs in the next six months, the company says. The majority of these users plan to pick a broadband provider as their next ISP. By far the most commonly cited reason for changing ISPs was the desire for a faster connection.

At the national level, 36 percent of online users accessed the Web through a high-speed connection in the fourth quarter of 2003, up 2 points from 34 percent in the third quarter.

And more consumers have signed up for the broadband from cable companies, with about 13.7 million lines compared to 7.7 million using telephone companies' digital subscriber line (DSL) services.

Telephone and cable television companies such as Verizon Communications and Comcast Corp. have been competing fiercely to sign up customers to high-speed Internet service.

There is already a fund that subsidizes telephone service in rural areas and for those who cannot afford it and some in Congress have debated whether the Universal Service Fund should also subsidize Internet access to American homes.

Policymakers have also been debating what regulations should apply to broadband services. Telephone companies that dominate a market have to share their networks with rivals for telephone service and there have been extensive debates about whether those rules should apply to broadband providers, which don’t have to share their networks with rivals.

And earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules for utility companies that seek to offer Internet access through their electricity grids. The FCC hopes its rules for broadband over power line (BPL) will help jump-start the use of the grid network to deliver high-speed Internet access to U.S. households.

Internet service provider EarthLink this month announced it would begin testing a broadband service using power lines leased from Progress Energy, a utility company that serves the Carolinas and central Florida.

Progress Energy is delivering a packet-based broadband signal through power lines, broadcasting the signal using Wi-Fi equipment. Those customers access the network using wireless broadband routers installed in their homes.