The Buzz: June 3, 2002

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-06-03

Senator Backs National Strategy

Calling the availability of broadband a key to economic recovery, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., last week said he will introduce legislation this week that would force the Bush administration to develop a national broadband strategy.

Liebermans focus isnt on the debate on Capitol Hill about how to spread available broadband technologies such as DSL and cable at speeds up to 1.5M bps to more homes and businesses. Hes homing in on what he calls "advanced broadband," which would deliver speeds of 10M bps to 100M bps. "Policy-makers have been focusing on short-term obstacles to the next small jump in speed," said Lieberman, speaking on the campus of Wind River Systems, in Alameda, Calif. "Weve got to look beyond those disputes for a larger and longer-term vision."

Lieberman avoided criticizing the Bush administration during follow-up questions but did say the administration has "not been moving rapidly enough." That is why, he said, he is introducing the National Broadband Strategy Act of 2002.

Along with legislation calling for the administration to develop a plan within six months, Lieberman said he will introduce legislation with the goal of expanding the availability of the higher-bandwidth technologies.

Liberty Alliance Expands Roster

The Liberty Alliance project gained new members last week—including Cingular, SAP and i2 Technologies—as Sun continues its challenge to Microsofts online ID system, called Passport. Other new members include Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and Wave Systems.

The group, which has more than three dozen members, is looking to create a standard way that people can be identified online. The plan is to enable users to sign on to one site via the standard and have other Web sites automatically authenticate them.

The alliance hopes to have a specification ready for release this summer, according to officials.

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