Tuesday, April 7, 2009

FCC Seeks Input on National Broadband Plan

The FCC initiated the process of developing a national broadband plan with the goal of delivering it to Congress by February 17, 2010. Specifically, the FCC is seeking input from all stakeholders: consumers, industry, large and small businesses, non-profits, the disabilities community, governments at the federal, state, local and tribal levels, and all other interested parties. The plans is to serve as a national roadmap for achieving the goal of ensuring that all Americans reap the benefits of broadband.

The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 requires the FCC to create a national broadband plan that considers several key elements:

  • The most effective and efficient ways to ensure broadband access for all Americans

  • Strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services

  • Evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, including the progress of related grant programs

  • How to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job
    creation, and economic growth, and other national purposes.

Acting FCC Chairman Michael J. Copps stated "Today we commence a national dialogue on how we as a nation can make high-speed broadband available, affordable and easily useable to citizens and businesses throughout the land. This is a good news item. In spite of the fact that it springs in part from an economic downturn that has put a lot of our fellow citizens on the ropes, it signals that at long last we are getting serious about making our citizens and our country more competitive, prosperous, and fulfilled. It means that we are coming to grips with the fact that we have a long way to go to get high-speed, value-laden broadband out to all our citizens. It means that we are beginning to understand that real economic and social progress needs to be fueled by both vigorous private enterprise and enlightened public policy. The missing ingredient until this year has been the enlightened public policy."http://www.fcc.gov

See also