Federal Communications Commission

Author Archive

A Fortunate Plan

March 15th, 2010 by Andrew Nesi - Special Assistant

Over the course of the last 7 months, we’ve ordered from our friends at Jenny’s Asian Fusion at least once or twice a week. Now, when I call, Jenny herself answers and, recognizing my phone number, yells “ANDREW!” and asks how things are going over at 445 12th St. SW. 

Our team’s first blog post discussed fortune cookies we had gotten at the first of these dinners.  So I hoped to have this post, just before the plan is delivered, to lead with a fortune, too. 

Unfortunately, last night’s fortune read “You love sports, horses and gambling but not to excess.”  This was accurate enough, particularly around bracket time, but isn’t particularly relevant to the task at hand.

My boss opened one, too, which told him, “You will have no problems in your home.” This seemed unlikely, given the number of hours he’s spent at work since Thanksgiving.

So I ate another.  “Good things are being said about you,” it said.

Finally, it works.

Today, we got a letter signed by major technology companies that commended my teammates “for the extraordinary public process implemented to develop this plan. Your team has worked countless hours, solicited unprecedented volumes of feedback from all stakeholders, and determined that data, not ideology, should guide their analysis. This process has demonstrated that there are still significant policy obstacles that could stifle innovation and investment in the future.”  It urged the FCC “and others in government to move quickly to implement its most essential recommendations.”

Another letter, last week, came from a series of telecom companies.  It discussed a number a number of prominent issues, and commended our efforts to “lay a spectrum foundation” and “revitalize the Universal Service program.”

Now, my mom always told me not to care what others think. And the plan itself should be judged by what it does for the country, not what people say about it.

But the letter is a testament to the extraordinary product we’ll release tomorrow. It’s a testament to the work my teammates have done in the past months. It’s a testament to the contributions we’ve gotten from Americans in every corner of the country, from D.C. to Alaska, Charleston to Austin.

Of course, we’re not so na├»ve so as to believe every person will agree with every recommendation in the plan. 

But the plan is a document of which we’re all proud.  We’re excited to share it with our now-distant family and friends, our counterparts in industry and elsewhere in government, and most importantly, with people around the country.

And, of course, Jenny gets a copy.

Privacy, Personal Data, and the Plan

January 26th, 2010 by Andrew Nesi - Special Assistant

In addition to his Wired for Social Justice speech, Blair also delivered a speech last Friday on privacy issues in the National Broadband Plan to EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center).  In the speech, Blair discussed the dynamics of private data in the applications market, as well as the pending public notice on privacy.  Full text of the speech is below.

Thank you.

I particularly want to thank Mark, whose work I have followed for years and who has been both visionary and relentless in pushing on an issue which has always been important and, as I know you all know, will only be more so in the future.

I want to start with what my team was asked to do.  As many of you know, in the Recovery Act, Congress set aside more than 7 billion dollars for NTIA to establish a grant program designed to provide a short-term stimulus to fund broadband infrastructure build-out.

In addition to that program, Congress asked the FCC to develop a Plan for the long-term development of broadband in America. It asked us to evaluate those grants, and analyze the most efficient and effective mechanisms to get broadband infrastructure to all Americans. 

But Congress asked us to look beyond networks, too. 

It asked how we could achieve greater affordability, and increase adoption of broadband by Americans everywhere. 

It asked how broadband could advance a number of national purposes: energy, health care, public safety and consumer welfare, among others.  And it asked how to ensure maximum utilization of broadband, and how to realize its transformative potential.

Many still focus only on the first question—how can we get the fastest networks to the most number of people?

(Continue reading here...)

Slide Show

September 29th, 2009 by Andrew Nesi - Special Assistant

Andrew Nesi BBI trust that people will respect the content of our Commission meeting update today, but if nothing else, they'll have to respect our pretty slides.

My name is Andrew Nesi, and I'm a recent graduate of Notre Dame and Special Assistant on the National Broadband team. I think I have the best entry-level job in Washington. Sometimes, my work is administrative-I'm now the world's leading expert on ordering Chinese food for 50, including Atkins-dieters, vegetarians, and a lovable Brazilian named Carlos. Other times, my work is more substantive; helping others work through their analysis for the plan.

This weekend, though, my job had a singular focus: the 150+ slides we'll be using during today's Commission meeting run through my computer, and those of a few other junior team members. With the exception of about four hours worth of way-too-nervewracking Notre Dame football on Saturday night, I've spent most of my waking hours over the last week with this presentation. It's like a young child--it's both my pride and joy, and the bane of my existence.

Now, I haven't been to many FCC Commission Meetings--they don't do so well in that coveted males, age 18-34 Nielsen demographic--but I've heard repeatedly that we're about to attempt something very different than the Commission has seen in recent memory.

The meeting will be four hours long. We'll have more than 20 presenters, with presentations ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. We'll cover each component of our current work-updating the Commissioners on the work we've been doing for the past few months.

We'll discuss the data we've collected--and the data we've tried to collect, but haven't. We'll provide our best evaluation, albeit incomplete, of the current state broadband deployment and adoption. And we'll report our preliminary insights into the potential implications of universal broadband on a wide variety of National Purposes. You can see the whole agenda here.

Excited yet? We are. We hope it will be unlike anything the Commission has ever seen. And not just because the slides are pretty.

Capture The Phone Numbers Using Your Camera Phone

If you have a camera and a 2D matrix code reader on your mobile phone, you can capture the FCC Phone numbers right to your phone by following these three easy steps:
Step 1: Take a photograph of one of the codes below using the camera on your mobile phone.
Step 2: Use your phone's Datamatrix or QR Code reader to decode the information on the photograph. Please note, these code readers are device specific and are available to download on the internet.
Step 3: Store the decoded address information to your phone's address book and use it with your Maps or GPS application.

Datamatrix and QR FCC Phones