Waz: Top gadgets encourage broadband adoption

Waz stressed that when people have not learned to use the Internet, it's a key problem for getting them online.

"You can't just say, 'Here's a computer.' You can't just say, 'Here's cheap Internet,'" he said. "You've got to teach a man to fish."

Broadband adoption depends on having basic literacy skills as well as digital literacy skills, he said. 

Waz said adoption is a key issue for Comcast, which partners with One Economy and City Year to support broadband adoption programs. 

"If you consider adoption to be in the public interest, and I do, and I also consider it to be in my company's interest, then you have to decide what it is you're trying to drive toward," he said. 

Waz said the National Broadband Plan, released by the Federal Communications Commission in March, might get greater recognition once contentious political debates are resolved, possibly referring to the net-neutrality divide. 

The plan is "holistic" because it emphasizes deployment, adoption and national purposes for broadband and is "research-driven," Waz said.

"The National Broadband Plan should serve as a rallying cry, and I hope in time that after we get past some of the politics of the moment that maybe it will," he said.