FCC Asks For Input On Broadband
August 9, 2010 at 5:22 AM (PT)
The FCC is asking for input for its broadband deployment plan. The Notice of Inquiry released FRIDAY sets a due date of SEPTEMBER 7th for comments, with replies due OCTOBER 5th.
The Notice said, "We encourage companies, policy institutes, governmental entities, analysts, consumer groups, individual broadband consumers, individuals who live or work in unserved areas, and others to provide whatever objective, empirical data and evidence might be useful" to "determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion," compile "demographic information for unserved areas," and "complete an international comparison of broadband service capability."
The Commission also has to do a consumer survey on broadband use and, if it finds that "broadband is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion," it must, according to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, "take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."
Using the occasion to promote the Commission's National Broadband Plan, Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI said, "We know from our last report that our nation is not where it needs to be in this area—between 14 and 24 million Americans remain without access to robust broadband, and market forces alone are unlikely to close this gap in the near future. Some find this acceptable; I do not."
Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL added that supporting the inquiry should not be construed as endorsing the National Broadband Plan, and that he is "concerned that the report’s conclusions may be used to promote and support a regulatory agenda that could have the unintended effect of slowing further deployment, usage, investment, and job creation."