Federal Communications Commission

Workshops By The Numbers

August 21st, 2009 by Blair Levin - Executive Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative

As we count down the days before the National Broadband Plan is due, it's worth taking stock of who has participated so far in the staff workshops that are enlivening the Commission room in the dog days of August with an ongoing dialogue about broadband.

So, with apologies to the 12 Days of Christmas, here we go.  On the 180th day before the National Broadband Plan, our workshops had given to us:

  • 15 participants from small, disadvantaged and minority businesses
  • 12 from wireless broadband¬† - WISPs, WIMAX, mobile, rural and others
  • 12 governmental officials, from international to local
  • 12 from consumer and public interest groups
  • 11 from academia
  • 10 from equipment manufacturers
  • Seven from the disabilities community
  • Seven from big phone companies
  • Seven from big wireless companies
  • Six from think tanks
  • Five from fiber providers
  • Four from cable providers
  • Three from journalism, media and publishing
  • Three from rural phone companies
  • Two from competitive phone companies
  • Two from satellite
  • One each from the analyst world, legal, retail and the web
No partridge in a pear tree. And there won't be one. Unless some engineer can figure out how it can serve as a wi-fi router.

5 Responses to “Workshops By The Numbers”

  1. Bill Dollar says:

    "12 from consumer and public interest groups"

    Huh? Well, yes, you might get to 12 by including folks like Andrew Rasiej, John Wonderlich, Beth White, etc... folks who are non-profits that don't work directly on FCC/Broadband polices in the consumer interest. If you look at it through that lens, you've only got 3 (CFA, New America, CDT). Nevermind that in the initial announcements of the 2nd week of workshops, there were no consumer/public interest panelists, as they were added at the last minute.

    Either way, this list is not informative, because on the topics like SDBs, E-government, Education, disabilities, etc... you'd expect to see those constituencies represented. In the more general topic workshops on deployment, technology and adoption, they've been totally lopsided, with "think tanks" paid by industry (ITIF, Emperis, Phoenix, etc...) actually making them even more skewed towards industry.

    By my count, 76 of the 110 in your list have direct or indirect ties to industry (69%).

    If you only at the FCC policy focused workshops (2, 3, 4, 5, 7) you only had 2 consumer/public interest witnesses who take policy positions, out of 77 total. That's 3 PERCENT!

    Bad, FCC. You can do better.

  2. Guest says:

    My definition of broadband is where there is NO monitoring or traffic controlling schemes in place that allows free ACTUALL use of the internet with NO hidden caps that change without the customers knowledge.

  3. Guest says:

    How much money is getting passed under the table?

  4. Brett Glass says:

    Hopefully, there will not only be no partridge in a pear tree but also no TCP/IP via carrier pigeon. Though in rural areas, due to high bandwidth costs, it might seem cost-effective compared to obtaining Internet bandwidth from an ILEC.

  5. Guest says:

    The plan is good. will this be a small business: comparison shopping?

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