Federal Communications Commission

In the News

March 15th, 2010 by George Krebs

A steady stream of media coverage has foreshadowed Tuesday’s release of The National Broadband Plan. We’ve compiled some of that coverage, including an op-ed penned by Chairman Genachowski, below:

From Chairman Genachowski’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post:
The Internet has transformed America with its power to generate innovation and opportunity and by its ability to connect, inform and entertain us like no technology in history.
…Our nation is at a high-tech crossroads: Either we commit to creating world-leading broadband networks to make sure that the next waves of innovation and business growth occur here, or we stand pat and watch inventions and jobs migrate to those parts of the world with better, faster and cheaper communications infrastructures.
This, of course, is not a choice -- which is why, this week, at the behest of Congress and the president, the Federal Communications Commission is delivering the first National Broadband Plan: a comprehensive strategy for dramatically improving our broadband networks and extending their benefits to all Americans.
If we adopt these and other good ideas, we can harness the power of a technology with the greatest potential to advance our economic and social welfare since the advent of electricity.
….History teaches us that nations that lead technological revolutions reap enormous rewards. We can lead the revolution in wired and wireless broadband. But the moment to act is now.
From the New York Times:
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network.
…The blueprint reflects the government’s view that broadband Internet is becoming the common medium of the United States, gradually displacing the telephone and broadcast television industries.
…For much of the last year, Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman and the plan’s chief salesman, has laid the groundwork for the Congressionally mandated plan by asserting that the United States is lagging far behind other countries in broadband adoption and speed. About a third of Americans have no access to high-speed Internet service, cannot afford it or choose not to have it.
In a speech last month, Mr. Genachowski observed that the country could build state-of-the-art computers and applications, but without equivalent broadband wiring, “it would be like having the technology for great electric cars, but terrible roads.”
The plan envisions a fully Web-connected world with split-second access to health care information and online classrooms, delivered through wireless devices yet to be dreamed up in Silicon Valley.
…In a move that could affect policy decisions years from now, the F.C.C. will begin assessing the speeds and costs of consumer broadband service. Until then, consumers can take matters into their own hands with a new suite of online and mobile phone applications released by the F.C.C. that will allow them to test the speed of their home Internet and see if they’re paying for data speeds as advertised.
From News Hour’s the.News
From Reuters:
U.S. regulators will announce a major Internet policy this week to revolutionize how Americans communicate and play, proposing a dramatic increase in broadband speeds that could let people download a high-definition film in minutes instead of hours.
Dramatically increasing Internet speeds to 25 times the current average is one of the myriad goals to be unveiled in the National Broadband Plan by the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday.
The highly anticipated plan will make a series of recommendations to Congress and is aimed at spurring the ever-changing communications industry to bring more and faster online services to Americans as they increasingly turn to the Internet to communicate, pay monthly bills, make travel plans and be entertained by movies and music.
…“We've developed a plan that is a real win-win for everyone involved and we have every expectation that it will work,” Genachowski said in an interview with Reuters. …“It is both aspiration and achievable.”
From the Boston Globe:
Fourteen years after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission will release a National Broadband Plan next week that seeks to foster the power of so-called broadband networks. This goal is admirable, because broadband is widely viewed as the economic lifeline of tomorrow, with the power to improve an array of financial and employment activity in health care, education, homeland security, job training, even energy independence.
… When it comes to the National Broadband Plan, the FCC has it right in one important regard. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first reform of the communications policy in over 60 years. Today, technology evolves at a much faster rate than policy. A new national agenda is needed to provide direction for Congress to enact laws that reflect today’s technology landscape. This necessary foundation for our economic future requires broadband access for all Americans.


7 Responses to “In the News”

  1. Steve Borsch says:

    "A steady stream of media coverage..." as well as 'new media' coverage like we did at Minnov8:

    As a site focused on showcasing Minnesota innovation in internet & web technology, I'm certain you can visualize us on the sidelines with our pom-poms cheering you on! ;-)

  2. Guest says:

    I seem to recall that the WSJ had an editorial about the National Broadband Plan on Monday. Didn't see a link to that here. So much for transparency.

  3. Edward Serafin says:

    From what I was told is that in Europe they use only high speed broadband at about the same cost that we pay for low speed. They claim that they do not have the problem in using the internet. All the broadband here in the USA are overpriced. The broadband/cell phone companies are over charging the custmors. I would like to know where the justification is in charging these prices and such lousy services.

  4. exmearden says:

    FYI - also covered on Daily Kos Sunday, March 14, 2010:


  5. KevinK says:

    With the economy dwindling – the big get bigger and more powerful. I would like to call attention to a growing giant that may be a bit outside of scrutiny right now. The wireless voice and wireless data business is more profitable than their “monopolistic” ancestors ever dreamt. As a part of that industry I felt proud to have ushered in the digital age to wireless. But, somewhere along the way, companies like ATT and in particular Verizon, have used airwave license as license to monopolize. I read today that the FCC is looking to grow that industry and pave the way for airwaves that can handle what’s coming. Clearly a necessary move. Statements like that of Chairman Genachowski who said, “to help ensure the U.S. has a world-leading communications infrastructure for the 21st century” by “removing obstacles to 4G deployment.” Are a bit off base though.

    Due to the stranglehold wireless companies have on – hardware, software and service – they end up holding us back while they engineer themselves into a piece of every single part of revenue that touches federal airwaves.
    If they want more spectrum and license – give up monopoly on handsets and software. They are carriers – not czars – unless we let them.

    STOP license expansion until fairness and contractual monopoly at the carrier side is curbed. It’s an industry that will have more combined power than TV, radio, print, Microsoft and the old Ma bell together. They are already in just about everyone’s pockets unfettered. Don’t let it grow unchecked.

  6. Guest says:

    Congress must inisist on a spectrum analysis before any decision is made on rearranging use of the TV spectrum. Don't be shortsighted FCC. Over the air broadcasting is vital. Will the FCC buy a wirless computer for the millions of poor that now depend on over the air TV?

  7. SaveCompetition says:

    I truly hope today's plan will include a firm direction of the FCC to open up the RBOCs Verizon, Qwest and AT&T so competitive telecommunications, non-RBOC controlled wireless companies and cable can finally have the low-cost access to customers they need to be able to ultimately bring broadband to Main Street USA. The competitive barriers that the Bells have spent millions on since the 1996 Telecom Act have only slowed innovation. DSL technology sat at Bell Labs for years--without competition Bell execs had no reason to innovate. Where would we be if they got off the dime decades ago? Chairman Genachowski and the other great commissioners have an incredible opportunity to give America what the Bells have failed to do for more than 100 years--bring true competition to America. Access speeds of 100 mbps will not arrive through any efforts from "the big phone company" but competitive and regional LECs, wireless companies like T-Mobile and Sprint, and cable companies like Cox and TimeWarner. If given the access, only they will bring low cost broadband to every reach of America without the need to dig up another street and without promises of fiber optic networks that 20 years later have only been delivered completely to three cities: Richardson, Texas, Olathe, Kansas and Corporate Woods, Kansas. Why? No controls on the RBOCs. The Michael Powell FCC failed. Kevin Martin couldn't deliver. But Julius Genachowski can make it happen.

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