By Kim Hart - 12/07/09 03:06 PM EST
Former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell and former Congressman Harold E. Ford Jr. were named honorary co-chairs of Broadband For America, a coalition of Internet service providers, content creators and commercial groups that are pushing for universal broadband access.
Powell and Ford appear in paid ads for the group that began airing during yesterday's morning talk shows. They'll also appear in ad spots on cable channels inside the Beltway.
An excerpt from the script:
Powell: Our country is preparing a national broadband plan to bring high speed Internet to every corner of America.
Ford: Because even in these tough times, broadband provides new businesses the latest tools to compete and grow.
Powell: And at home and in the classroom broadband gives every student the opportunity to succeed.
Ford: Our future’s at stake here
Powell: Government and the private sector need to work together to get this right.
The group's members include AT&T, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Comcast and Verizon. Public interest groups such as Public Knowledge and Free Press, who are not members of the coalition, have criticized is at being a front group for the telecom industry. The group says its main purpose is to remind policy makers about the benefits of broadband as they develop a national broadband strategy.
Broadband for America has been running ads in Washington media outlets since its launch in September.