FCC's Copps Talks About Broadband, Spectrum Issues At FCBA
February 16, 2011 at 4:59 AM (PT)
Preparing for the agency's appearance before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel WEDNESDAY, FCC Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS told a FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS BAR ASSOCIATION luncheon in WASHINGTON TUESDAY (2/15) that while the House is now led by Republicans and he and the FCC majority are Democrats, "I believe I will find there some common ground -- perhaps more than many of you expect. There have been lots of shifting majorities and minorities in this town since I came here in 1970. FRITZ HOLLINGS told me, and then he showed me, how good things can get done no matter which one of those categories you’re in."
COPPS said that he believes "Congress, the Administration and the Commission share common ground on the importance of broadband for a better and brighter future for AMERICA ... Broadband intersects with just about every great challenge confronting our nation today -- jobs, international competitiveness, education, energy, health care, overcoming disabilities, news and information, and our democratic dialogue. There is no solution for any of these challenges that does not have some broadband component to it. We can’t get from here to where we want to go without putting information infrastructure more effectively to work for us. It’s an absolute necessity for economic growth, job creation and tackling all these other challenges ... All Americans -- and I mean everyone -- need access to robust and affordable broadband."
COPPS also discussed spectrum policy, calling for a "spectrum inventory" to determine how to better allocate resources to expand broadband, and reiterated his support for a "public value test" for license renewals and increasing funding for public broadcasting. Finally, he called for a Notice of Inquiry on disclosure rules for political ads, saying, "We the people have a right to know who is bankrolling these ads beyond some wholly unidentifiable group set up to mask the special interest it really represents."