Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Outlines of FCC national broadband plan emerge

Tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission plans to release its plan to expand broadband Internet access across the United States, but the executive summary of this initiative is already online, as my colleague Cecilia Kang posted earlier today.

That document (PDF) outlines a set of measures the FCC and other government agencies can take to encourage companies to expand high-speed Internet access: collecting and publishing data about the availability of broadband in different markets across the country, streamlining existing rules governing telecom policy, making an extra 500 MHz of wireless spectrum available for broadband use and increasing subsidies for deploying broadband in underserved markets.

The spectrum moves are most likely to be a political football, considering how most of the airwaves are already spoken for. (I got a firsthand taste of how contentious this can be when I moderated a panel discussion on this topic at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.) The summary mentions that the FCC could set up auctions and other markets to reward existing spectrum holders who agree to give up their frequencies. Later on, the document also suggests that some spectrum might be auctioned off under the condition that the winning bidder provide "free or low-cost service."

As Kang noted, the plan excludes any line-sharing requirement that would have telecom carriers renting out their networks to competing Internet providers, something many advocates have urged but which incumbent firms hate.

(FCC chair Julius Genachowski wrote an op-ed piece for the Post yesterday lobbying for the plan.)

Full details of the plan should appear tomorrow, but for now have a look at the summary -- it's a quick read -- and let me know what you think in the comments.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  March 15, 2010; 12:24 PM ET
Categories:  Policy and politics , Telecom  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tax-prep software vendors look for a lock-in
Next: PostPoints tip: AVS Forum, where electronics enthusiasts unite


Looks good. Especially for those of us who are too far from transmitters to get broadcast channels and would like to stream the local news. Like CH4, which is too far from McLean for the signal to get received.

Posted by: wiredog | March 15, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Having moved 9 years ago from the capital city of Texas (pretty good size and very technically inclined) to what in Texas is called "the sticks", I can tell you that the FCC's Mr. G. seems to think that the rural diabetic WANTS to get instruction via computer and WANTS a computer in his house. I'm here to tell you that at least in rural Texas, that may not reach Mr. G's level of hope. I've met and talked with so many elderly folks who fit the model of whom he is talking to with his op-ed piece that would throw out a computer that dared to stick its nose under the tent wall...wideband, narrowband, or seven-banded like our armadillos.

IMHO, robbing bandwidth for a dream use from users who need it now for some future use that may not come to pass because of the non-logical status of those who are ostensibly to be served may cause the undoing of this whole panoply of plans.

Posted by: RHMathis | March 16, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company