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Broadband and Small Business (Or, how my two-year-old’s love of cupcakes matters in the broadband world)

March 10th, 2010 by Lyle Ishida

This is a photo of my two-year-old daughter, Sydney, enjoying a cupcake from CakeLove in Tysons Corner, VA.  It was a snowy January day and, having a bad case of cabin fever, my wife and I took our daughter to the mall to run around and have a treat.  Because cupcakes are Sydney’s greatest culinary joy, we made sure that there was a cupcake place in Tysons Corner to help her enjoy her day.

That’s all well and good, but what exactly does a toddler’s love of cupcakes have to do with broadband? 

The answer was found last week at the Broadband and Small Business Forum held in Washington, DC.  The forum featured remarks by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski; SBA Administrator Karen Mills; Todd Sharp, President of Engage, Inc, and Warren Brown, owner of CakeLove.

Brown talked extensively about his experience with broadband and how technology assists him in business.  Brown and CakeLove leverage broadband for:

  • Streamline ordering and administrative functions, freeing up store employees to better serve customers.
  • Marketing CakeLove, accepting orders on-line, building support for the baking community.
  • Promote on-line couponing and building sales, interacting with the social media universe, and “go where people are” (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc). 

CakeLove is just one example of how small businesses are using broadband and the new economy to grow and prosper.  As Chairman Genachowski said, “When small businesses use broadband, it’s a double win.  Affordable high speed broadband enables small business to increase revenue by reaching a larger market and reduce costs by cloud-based efficiency tools.  More profit, more jobs created.”

In a time when America is looking for drivers of economic development, broadband’s promise looms large as a tool to help entrepreneurs and small business owners to maximize efficiency and reduce costs, build awareness and revenue and take their enterprises to the next level.   Warren Brown noted, “We’re not just baking cakes, we’re making digital ideas.”
 
Ultimately, the success of the National Broadband Plan will not only mean that every small business and entrepreneur across America can have access to this vital business tool, it will also mean that every father,  in every corner of this country, will be faced with the same dilemma that I faced in January –  when your darling child looks up to you with big, pleading eyes and asks:  Daddy, can I have a cupcake??  Pleeeaasseee????
 

“The Internet in America”—Your YouTube Interview with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

March 10th, 2010 by Haley Van Dÿck - FCC New Media

This Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission will unveil the National Broadband Plan—a roadmap to connect all Americans to affordable, high-speed internet.

The development of the National Broadband Plan has been one of the most open and participatory processes in the history of the FCC, with citizens from all over the country participating in our online workshops, sharing their ideas on our crowd sourcing platforms, and joining the discussion on our blog.
 
We’ve reached out over the past few months and asked questions about what broadband means to you and your community. Now it’s your turn to ask FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski questions about his plan for the future of the broadband in America. No topic is off-limits: from civic engagement to economic opportunity, education to health care – we want to know what Americans have in mind for Internet innovation in the 21st century.
 
Following the announcement of the National Broadband Plan next Tuesday, YouTube will interview Chairman Genachowski as part of a series of in-person interviews with government leaders answering your questions. Check out the latest You Tube Interview with President Obama here.
 
Join the discussion at Citizen Tube and submit your question for Chairman Genachowski via Google Moderator today.  You can also vote on the best questions in any of seven topic areas:
 
The deadline for questions is Sunday evening at midnight on the west coast. 
 
On Tuesday, March 16th following the FCC’s Open Commission Meeting, Steve Grove of YouTube will ask Chairman Genachowski your questions.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

The Cost of Digital Exclusion

March 9th, 2010 by Brian David - Adoption and Usage Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative

By Brian David, Adoption and Usage Director , John Horrigan, Consumer Research Director, and Scott Wallsten, Economics Director (Adoption and Usage Team)

For those following how the Broadband Task Force has characterized the problem of non-adoption, the term “cost of digital exclusion” is familiar. The idea has roots in the academic literature, where Rahul Tongia and Ernest Wilson have argued in “Turning Metcalfe on His Head: The Multiple Costs of Network Exclusion” that the costs of not being online rise faster than the growth of the network. Blair Levin’s “Wired for Social Justice” speech touched on this idea in noting the societal benefits that come about from getting more people online.

A new report prepared by the Digital Impact Group and Econsult Corporation (DIG/EC) adds to the discussion by attempting to quantify the economic impacts associated with digital exclusion. The DIG/EC report, The Economic Impact of Digital Exclusion, finds that the aggregate costs of having one-third of the nation without broadband access comes to $55 billion per year when looking across 11 areas of impact (e.g., health, education, economic opportunity). 

We note that the estimated cost should be approached cautiously.  In addition to the inherent data-related challenges in this kind of undertaking, the report explicitly does not attempt to estimate the net benefits - it does not include the cost of programs that may be necessary to bring about the growth in broadband access that create the estimated benefits.

Nonetheless, we hope that the DIG/EC study will spur an ongoing discussion of the costs of digital exclusion.  Such a discussion among policy-makers, practitioners and economists is crucial to building an inclusive broadband future.  As Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) observed in The Challenge of Digital Exclusion in America: A Review of the Social Science Literature and Its Implications for the U.S. National Broadband Plan, “digital exclusion can be seen as exacerbating the underlying problems of social exclusion and inequality.” The DIG/EC study helps us think of the potential opportunities that may come about if more people have broadband access, while challenging analysts to do more to understand the costs of getting there. 

As we approached today's Digital Inclusion Summit, DIG/EDC and CFA remind us of the stakes involved with closing gaps in home broadband access. Broadband is a pathway to benefits that the already-wired among us take for granted: news about our communities and government, better understanding of health care challenges, more information for purchase decisions and job search, and staying in touch with family and friends. The DIG/EC study helps us think in dollar terms about the potential scope of benefits, and CFA focuses on how digital exclusion can harden established patterns of inequality – possibly making it even more costly over time to address access gaps. Stayed tuned for how the Broadband Plan proposes to address these gaps.
 

Digital Inclusion Summit Tomorrow

March 8th, 2010 by George Krebs

With just over a week to go before the National Broadband Plan is released, excitement is quickly building. The Broadband Team, FCC & Administration officials, members of congress, and citizens from across the country will come together at the Newseum tomorrow to unveil an overview of The Plan’s recommendations. With broadband in only 65% of American homes these recommendations must bridge an ambitious gap. We will also host a “voices of inclusion” portion in the program where people will discuss how broadband, or the lack of it, has impacted them.

The summit will take place at the Newseum in Washington DC from 9am to 12:15pm ET. No matter where you’re located, you can take part in the event. We’ll be streaming the summit at FCC.gov/Live. Satellite locations have been set up in Akron, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Philadelphia for people to watch the webcast and discuss broadband in their own communities. You can ask questions during the event by emailing NewMedia@fcc.gov or if you’re on Twitter by tweeting your questions using #BBplan. See you there.

The Power of Broadband for Small Business

March 3rd, 2010 by Dave Vorhaus - Expert Advisor, Economic Opportunity

Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the life-blood of the American economy. They create jobs, create wealth, and drive the country forward through innovation and ingenuity. Small businesses employ more than half of America’s workers and account for most of America’s net new job growth each year. Thus supporting these businesses with cutting edge connectivity and technology tools is not just a good idea; it is a vital national purpose.

But the story of broadband for small businesses and entrepreneurs is not just one of basic access and adoption, as the vast majority of businesses have a broadband connection of some fashion today. It is also a story of education and usage. Broadband is a tool, and like any tool, its utility is predicated on being applied correctly. In the case of broadband, this means allowing businesses to take advantage of new services, new applications and new business models that are only possible in a world of high-speed, reliable connectivity. Large businesses with dedicated IT staffs and broad resources can rise to this opportunity internally with tools such as e-commerce, knowledge sharing, online collaboration, videoconferencing and many others. But small businesses have more pressing concerns. The owner of a 15-person retail shop is worried about day-to-day operations, managing finances and keeping the business running. He doesn’t have time to research how an online inventory management system could improve his business’ efficiency and reduce his costs, much less install such a system.

For that reason, the National Broadband Plan is focusing on ways to increase knowledge, training and assistance for small businesses in using broadband. Rather than asking small businesses to seek out the tools that make broadband transformative to their businesses, we want to help lay those tools at their feet. Our working recommendations deal with counseling for small businesses, support programs and networks of assistance for entrepreneurs, and making broadband tools and training key cogs in the federal government’s existing small business support efforts. Working in close partnership with the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration, the Department of Labor, and a myriad of leading private firms from all corners of the communications and technology industries, we aim to maximize the impact of broadband by helping small businesses put it to the optimal use.

Tomorrow, Chairman Genachowski and SBA Administrator Karen Mills will highlight these issues at 10:00 AM at the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development, Old Chamber’s Conference room. Joining them will be Warren Brown, CEO of CakeLove and Todd Sharp, President of Engage, Inc, two individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the profound effects that broadband can have on a small business. We hope to see you many of you there.
 

A Quick Update From The Biggest Gathering Of Health IT Professionals In The Country

March 2nd, 2010 by Pierce Grahm-Jones - Program Analyst, Digital Health Care (Omnibus Broadband Initiative)

Hello from the HIMSS Conference in Atlanta, the biggest gathering of health IT professionals in the country.

This morning, Dr. Mo – our digital healthcare director – gave the first comprehensive overview of the health care working recommendations in the National Broadband Plan. The session was well attended, something we had been nervous about with snow starting to fall in Atlanta! We were especially pleased to see folks in the audience who are current participants in the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program, as the Plan will recommend important changes to both the operating and capital components of the Program. If you missed the talk and want to know more about our recommendations, check out the presentation here. HIMSS should post a video of the conference sometime soon at the conference website.

We have also been spending time in one of the acres-wide exhibition halls, supporting the University of Virginia in setting up a demonstration of their stroke telehealth pilot. The pilot integrates care by using a full gambit of health IT – remote home monitors, EHRs, PACS, and high-res video consultations – to provide clot-busting drugs to patients in rural Virginia. It is an amazing example of what is already being done with these technologies. You can watch video of the demonstration here

Even more than what is currently being done, the overwhelming impression you get from being at this conference is how much is going to happen in health IT over the next couple of years. There are hundreds of companies here peddling their glossy-screened wares.  Everywhere you hear plans for achieving meaningful use, promoting interoperability, and unlocking the value of health data. None of these exciting goals has been accomplished today, but you get a sense that with the sort of investment represented in this conference, they are not far away.

For us on the Broadband team, the more than 20,000 people attending this conference just underscores the importance of broadband. But connectivity challenges have already slowed us down. Mark Rives, a member of our panel from the Indian Health Service, talked today about how over 90% of IHS locations have only been able to afford T1s, and how this has prevented them from deploying advanced health IT solutions. I’m glad the Broadband Plan gives us a chance to act now, before this becomes any more of a hindrance to such a promising space.

- Health Care Team

The Seeds of Digital Health Care: Nourished by the National Broadband Plan

February 26th, 2010 by Mohit Kaushal - Digital Healthcare Director

Chairman Genachowski had it exactly right when he said: “we see the digital seeds sprouting—high-speed Internet beginning to produce medical miracles, and evidence of the potential to save hundreds of billions in health care costs.” I’ve had the good fortune of leading the Connected Health team here at the FCC to make sure the federal government can help those seeds become forests.

Next week, we are very excited to be participating at the HIMSS conference in Atlanta, the largest and most important health IT conference in the country. If you are there, please stop by our Tuesday (March 2nd) session to learn more about the Plan’s working recommendations for healthcare. We’re scheduled for 8:30-9:30 AM in Room C306 at the convention center

One message of the entire plan is that broadband is only valuable when it supports a vibrant eco-system of devices, software, and uses that make all our lives better. This couldn’t be more true for health IT; it will require a dramatic and coordinated approach across the federal government and private sector to realize this vision. To that end, I’m excited to be joined by many senior health IT officials on Tuesday, including:
 

  • Dr. Charles Friedman, Deputy National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the Office of the Secretary for Health and Human Services
  • Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs;
  • Mark Rives, Director of Information Technology Operations at the Indian Health Service, and
  • Erik Garr, General Manager of the National Broadband Plan


I hope I’ll see many of you there. And I’d love to hear what you think of our ideas. I discussed them at a high level last week at the Commission Meeting and we’ll be getting into a lot more detail Tuesday.  Hopefully this blog can be a great place to continue the conversation after the conference!

-Dr. Mo

How the National Broadband Plan Will Encourage Investment

February 24th, 2010 by Blair Levin - Executive Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative

I'm speaking to a group of institutional investors about the Plan on  today.  It will be in a question and answer format, but I thought I would share how I will approach the conversation.

I hope to talk about how the Plan will affect the investment climate for what we think of the broadband ecosystem (suppliers of network services, devices and applications) both on the demand and supply sides. The Plan will increase demand and impact supply in every part of the ecosystem in the long-term in a few ways.

First, the plan will accelerate the move of certain sectors from processes designed and optimized for the technology of the past to more efficient processes enabled by broadband. 

As we discussed at the last Commission meeting, certain sectors of the economy-health care, education, public safety, energy, government services-have not utilized new, broadband-enabled processes nearly as effectively as they can.  We have identified barriers to that use that, if overcome, should spark an important increase in the demand for broadband across the board.

For an example of how such changes can positively affect the ecosystem, look at slide 101 from our September, 2009   meeting.  It reports on a study that demonstrated that using hosted electronic health records could save 18% over having such records on the doctors' own servers.  These savings are enjoyed even though for such hosting to work, the doctors have to spend twice as much on connectivity.  As noted in the slide, the dollar savings are only the beginning of the benefits of such services.

[Read the full speech here...]

Making the Nation Ready for Broadband

February 23rd, 2010 by Blair Levin - Executive Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative

At last week's open Commission meeting, I explained how writing a National Broadband Plan is like solving a mystery.

The mystery involves why some parts of the economy have embraced modern communications to greatly improve their performance while others lag far behind.

We see this in our daily lives.

Since I started using ATM machines and moved to online banking, I, like millions of others, don’t exchange information with a bank the way I did 10 or even 5 years ago.

Why is it that when I recently had the occasion to visit a great emergency room in Chicago, they collected data from me just like a hospital I visited while in college?

When I started as an equity analyst, my firm physically published notes but within a short time relied entirely on digital distribution.

Why is it that despite my having graduated high school almost forty years ago, my sophomore daughter’s back-pack, and its 25 pounds of books, looks just like mine did? 

Indeed, some of the books appear old enough that they might be the same.

Since 9/11, a day we all watched television news networks together, we’ve radically altered how we obtain news.

Why is it that the networks our first responders rely on, networks the 9/11 Commission told us we needed to upgrade, still offer technology that could only be considered modern by the standards of the last century.

A recent book--Wired for Innovation—offers some clues.  In researching why certain companies benefit from the use of information technology while others, similarly situated, do not, the authors found the benefits of the technology only come to life if the companies also change their fundamental processes and develop what the authors refer to as a digital culture.  Having technology is not enough.

Similar clues can be found in the 1990 paper, “The Dynamo and the Computer”, which explored why major innovations in microelectronics, fiber optic communications and computing had not yet shown up in productivity statistics.

Part of the answer turns out to be diffusion lag---it takes time for one technical system to replace another.  The author points out in the early 1900’s factories didn’t reach 50% electrification until four decades after the first central power station opened.

One cause of that diffusion lag was the unprofitability of replacing “production technologies adapted to the old regime of mechanical power derived from water and steam.”  

The problem was not just getting the electricity.

It was the cost of completely reengineering factories to benefit from electric power over the tried and embedded techniques of an earlier time.

So today, some sectors of our economy have a diffusion lag in adopting their processes to take advantage of the modern communications era.

But why?

Solving the mystery of today’s diffusion lag turns out to be critical to what Congress asked us to do in directing us to give our country a plan for utilizing broadband to advance national goals.

The world, the economy, the way we live our lives, are all moving from the analog to the digital.   Yet some sectors---particularly health care, education, energy, public safety and government generally---are not keeping up with the opportunities presented by information communications technology, and thereby keeping us from achieving a high-performing America.

The national  broadband plan will show how our country can act to utilize broadband to have these sectors perform at a higher level. 

While the challenges are different than those faced in transforming our industrial base to electrification, it is similar in that an old regime--in this case regulations, reimbursement policies, and other requirements--has created barriers to improvements. 

The plan will present ways we need to act to remove those barriers, overcome the diffusion lag and capture the opportunities that others are already seizing.

 
 

Support for the National Broadband Plan’s Working Recommendations

February 22nd, 2010 by Phoebe Yang - Senior Advisor to the Chairman on Broadband

We’re getting positive comments as we roll out some of the working recommendations in the National Broadband Plan.  A number of statements of support came in response to our presentation to the Commission last week on the section of the plan that will address how broadband can help the nation address key priorities: job creation and economic development, healthcare, education, energy and the environment, government, public safety and homeland security.  Here is a sampling:

From Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, regarding a recommendation in the plan for E-Rate reform already adopted by the Commission:

“This is a win-win for the community and for our schools. The FCC’s ruling will increase broadband access in the community, building rapport between schools and community groups, and giving more people access to high-speed Internet. We have seen time and again that the Internet is a powerful engine for expanding opportunities for people. Some of our schools want the flexibility to allow the community to access the Internet, and this will deliver. If we want to invest in our future, enabling the E-rate program to serve more people is a good way to go.”

From Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass, Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming  and the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment:

“As the author of the requirement in the Recovery Act tasking the FCC to develop a National Broadband Plan for our country, I am heartened by today’s preview.  The outline announced today suggests that the Commission is on track to fulfill the mandate that I wrote by producing a bold, future-focused, strategy for broadband deployment and adoption in our country.

“The Plan will also call on utilities, localities and states to voluntarily give consumers and consumer-authorized third parties access to real-time energy information in standardized formats. This will open up a whole new world of energy apps to help homeowners unlock the potential in their homes and electric cars to meet their energy needs. I intend to draft legislation that ensures that utilities in all states allow their customers to authorize third parties to get access to the data needed to support the development of these new smart grid applications, while ensuring that the appropriate privacy and security measures are in place.”

From Greg Brown, Co-CEO, Motorola, Inc.:

“Motorola is pleased that Chairman Genachowski has made public safety communications a high priority and is including the broadband needs of the public safety community in the National Broadband Plan. Public Safety must have the resources necessary to deploy and operate a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network capable of meeting the unique needs of first responders.  Motorola shares the Chairman’s commitment to ensuring that public safety has the advanced technologies it requires and an interoperable network that is vital for mission critical operations.”

From Todd Finnell, CEO, California K-12 High Speed Network:

“We believe strongly that the working recommendations provided in the National Broadband Plan will support our goals in bringing 21st century resources to students through broadband initiatives. The framework for these recommendations is in direct support of our vision and plan for California.”

From Douglas Levin, Executive Direction, SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association):

"We welcome the release of the forward-looking working recommendations of the National Broadband Plan, which highlight the growing demand for and use of broadband for education.  Ensuring high-speed broadband access for all students is a critical national issue and foundational to realizing our national education reform and improvement goals.  We know teachers and students need high-speed broadband access in their schools to take advantage of a wide range of new and rich educational tools and resources.  Teachers need high-speed broadband access for professional development, to engage in professional learning communities, and to access statewide education portals, digital instructional materials and open educational resources.  Administrators need high-speed broadband access to conduct online assessments and to access data for effective decision making.  And students need high-speed broadband to access learning anytime, anywhere and to overcome the lack of educational opportunity in rural and at-risk communities.  We look forward to working with the FCC, Congress and the Administration to moving from dialogue about these recommendations to concrete actions and programs to benefit all students.”

From Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO, NCTA (National Cable& Telecommunications Association):

“The FCC’s broadband team deserves enormous credit for their effort to identify key national priorities and achievable goals that will improve America’s economic welfare and enhance basic government and societal services that millions of citizens rely on.  The key challenges and opportunities outlined today all recognize how critical broadband is and will continue to be to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in key economic and societal sectors.  As the nation’s leading broadband provider, our industry will continue to do its part to provide an increasingly robust broadband network that will help accomplish many of the FCC’s stated goals.”

From Blackboard:

“Blackboard commends the FCC’s efforts to provide equal access to and continuity of education through ensuring universal access to broadband services. We support the framework presented by the National Purposes Team in the economic opportunity section of today’s presentation. The recognition of the clear benefits of an e-learning platform to deliver job services and job training is critical. Working adults and displaced workers have tremendous opportunities for employment advancement via online diplomas and degrees offered by Career College Association schools who serve their demographic.”

From Cameron Brooks, Senior Director, Market Development and Policy Strategy, Tendril:

"We are very encouraged by the leadership that the FCC is displaying with regard to the benefits that broadband can support with regard to energy.  Modernizing the electric grid will benefit all Americans by enabling greater energy efficiency, renewable energy and deployment of electric vehicles. As we described in testimony before the Commission, we believe that widespread broadband deployment with policies that encourage open access to information will serve as a powerful foundation for innovation and entrepreneurship."

From Rick Counihan, Vice President Regulatory Affairs-Western Region, EnerNOC, Inc.:

“Access to consumption data in near-real time provides the raw material that entrepreneurs and developers can build applications around, both those we can conceive of now and others we have not thought of.  If all data has to go back to the utility, be scrubbed and then becomes available hours later it will stifle innovation and competition.”

From Richard Mirgon, President, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International:

“APCO International applauds the Commission’s public safety focus and also supports the creation of an entity such as an Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) as was briefly discussed at the FCC’s meeting, though many important issues must still be resolved.  APCO International looks forward to participating in ERIC and working with the Commission to enhance public safety communications capabilities. We also continue to urge Congress to reallocate the D Block to public safety, as we believe this would be the most effective way to develop a national public safety interoperable broadband network.”

From George Heinrichs, President, Intrado:

 “The Commission’s action to include next generation 9-1-1 in the National Broadband Plan brings this country one step closer to getting a 9-1-1 system that meets the needs of all citizens - a step that will certainly save more lives.”

From Brian Fontes, CEO, National Emergency Number Association:

 “NENA applauds the FCC for its commitment to addressing 9-1-1 and public safety communications in the National Broadband Plan. It is clear from today’s presentation that the recommendations in the Plan will appropriately emphasize the critically important role that broadband will play in the next generation of 9-1-1 and emergency communications systems. Chief Barnett and the dedicated staff of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau are to be commended for their efforts.

As NENA has consistently said in our comments to the Commission, it is essential that the National Broadband Plan include recommendations designed to facilitate the transition of our nation’s 9-1-1 and emergency communications systems to broadband-enabled, IP-based platforms. It appears that the Plan will do just that. In particular, we strongly support the focus on Next Generation 9-1-1 and the establishment of a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network (including an Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC)). We also appreciate the explicit recognition of the critical need for funding to meet all of public safety’s broadband needs. We look forward to working with the Commission, Congress and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the Plan’s important recommendations.”

From Christopher Libertelli, Senior Director of Government & Regulatory Affairs, Americas, Skype:

“The FCC's National Broadband Plan is a historic opportunity to rethink what kind of communications and innovation policy will best serve American consumers. While this is no small task, the Omnibus Broadband Initiative team at the FCC, led by Blair Levin, is more than equal to it. The recommendations presented today demonstrate how innovative applications and robust broadband networks will enable the delivery of high-quality healthcare, world-class education, more opportunities for civic engagement and a better quality of life to consumers. Plus, these recommendations remain grounded in Congress' key goal of creating a policy environment that fosters innovation and investment to preserve America's competitive advantage in these strategic areas.”

From Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation:

“A national broadband policy that recognizes the tremendous societal benefit that can be served by focusing on increased access and less barriers to entry is welcome. Broadband and communications technology can only help in the birthing and growth of new ventures, which are the sole source of all net job gains today. Increasing access to educational resources, mentoring, and funding, are likewise helping launch new firms. A cogent national broadband policy can accelerate these activities at this critical time in our economic recovery.”

From Dan Delurey, President, Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition (DRSG):

“Key to getting the benefits of the smart grid investments that federal and state policymakers are approving is to put the smart grid into action.  One of the best ways to do that is to use smart grid technology to get consumers information about electricity usage – information that they have never had before -- in a timely easy-to-understand manner.  Evidence shows that when customers get such information they will react to it, take action, and become more energy efficient overall.  The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition believes that this will not only help optimize the grid, but will also help address climate change.  We are pleased to see the FCC trying to help make this happen.”

From Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc, Director, Clinical Informatics R&D, and Chairman – Center for IT Leadership, Partners Healthcare System, Harvard Medical School:

“The FCC team has performed a terrific analysis on the adoption of broadband to support healthcare, and health IT. To achieve connected, continuous, and capable care we need to fully wire this country down to the last mile wherever healthcare, and healthcare decision-making, is happening — that it is, everywhere.”

From Rick Miller, Deputy Superintendent for California Department of Education:

"The FCC's recommendations will help improve students’ access to technology."

From Katherine Hamilton, President, GridWise Alliance:

"The GridWise Alliance has been pleased by the FCC’s efforts to reach out to a broad array of stakeholders to inform the development of their plan. The Alliance agrees that any smart grid communications policy should be open and allow all technologies to participate in the market. The Alliance recognizes that with increased digital data on the electric grid, the industry may need to develop best practices around data privacy and grid security. The FCC and GridWise Alliance both see smart grid as a digital overlay of the electric grid that allows for a variety of technology applications depending on the needs of the system and its consumers. We are hopeful that when the final plan is released it will recognize the ability for all technologies, all stakeholders, and all regions to fully participate in the innovation opportunities of a smarter grid.”



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