During a rally Tuesday on Capitol Hill, representatives of a new industry group known as the U.S. Broadband Coalition urged the incoming Obama Administration to adopt as a national priority the formulation of a “comprehensive broadband strategy” in 2009. Among its more than 50 members, the U.S. Broadband Coalition boasts industry heavyweights such as AT&T, Google, wireless association CTIA, Clearwire, Alcatel-Lucent, Intel, the American Cable Association (ACA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. Observing that service providers and consumers in foreign countries have benefited through the adoption of comprehensive broadband policies that include “tax incentives, low interest loans, public-private partnerships, competition policy, and many other forms of direct and indirect support by all levels of government,” the coalition called for a national broadband policy framework that is based on five underlying principles. These principles include the following: (1) every U.S. home, business and public and private institution should have affordable access to high-speed broadband service, (2) broadband Internet access should be open to all users and to all service, content and application providers to the greatest extent possible, (3) operators should have the right to manage their networks responsibly and in accordance with clear guidelines, (4) the broadband Internet marketplace should be as competitive as possible, and (5) U.S. broadband networks should offer users the performance and capacity needed to compete effectively on a global scale. Proclaiming that, “in the 21st century, broadband access for every American is more than a luxury or even a right; it is an absolute necessity,” ACA President Matthew Polka observed: “the U.S. can no longer afford to lag behind other nations.”