US Govt asks industry for broadband ideas

Iain Thomson | Apr 9, 2009 11:09 AM
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun a 60 day consultation period with the IT industry over the plans for a national broadband infrastructure.

Under the terms of President Obama’s stimulus package the FCC is tasked with putting together a plan for a national broadband network and presenting it in February 2010.

The FCC will spend the 60 days taking submissions from interested parties on the plan.

“We have a long way to go to get high-speed, value-laden broadband out to all our citizens,” said acting chairman Michael Copps.

“It means that we are beginning to understand that real economic and social progress needs to be fueled by both vigorous private enterprise and enlightened public policy. The missing ingredient until this year has been the enlightened public policy.”

His last sentence was a dig at the previous administration, which while taking about formulating a strategy, did not implement one.

All areas of debate are open the FCC said. Wired, wireless and satellite options are all being considered and a single, unified standard must be applied, without stifling technological competition.

“We must do a better job of making innovative communications technologies more widely available and affordable,” said commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein.

“It’s clearly in our economic interests to do so, especially given the downturn we face; but it is also in the interests of our health care system, our environment, our education system, our energy grid, our transportation network, our public safety agencies – in fact, broadband will help us address almost every big challenge we face. Other countries around the world have long recognized this. At long last, we have a President, a Congress and a FCC that do, as well.”