"Broadband is still not attracting consumers," said Fiorina. "Only 9% of Americans who use the Net at home have access through broadband, and that is hardly enough to fulfill the promise of the digital renaissance."
Speaking at the annual Aspen Summit on Internet policy in the US, Fiorina urged the IT industry to create an "effective coalition" to break down the regulatory barriers that impede broadband's growth.
Fiorina added that widespread deployment of broadband could allow businesses to offer improved content and services on Web sites, improve demand for e-commerce services and boost business-to-business interactions and communications with remotely-deployed workers.
Tom Tauke, a senior vice-president at Verizon Communications, said: "The high-speed Internet market today is in a similar position to the cell phone industry 10 years ago. Of the more than 60 million US Internet households, 5.5 million access the Internet via high-speed cable modem, and only 2.3 million use xDSL technology for high-speed Internet access."
Vincent Cook, a former IBM executive who is now Colorado's science and technology commissioner, said broadband would help outlying small businesses in their work with larger corporate partners. "It's not about broadband, it's about economic development," he said.