Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FCC Development of National Broadband Plan

On April 8, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started the long overdue process of developing a modern national broadband plan that will seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. The plan creation has been charged by Congress as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - what most of refer to as the Obama stimulus package.

On April 8 a Notice of Inquiry was adopted by the FCC that, according to an FCC press release, 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.

As part of the inquiry process, the FCC is seeking comment on broadband deployment and use. The following elements are included, as listed in the FCC press release:

  • 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.
The FCC has to deliver the plan to Congress by February 17, 2010.

In my next few posts I'll provide some detail on the Notice of Inquiry process and discuss some of the key points in the 59 page Notice of Inquiry document.

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