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FCC asks Congress to extend deadline for broadband plan by one month

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it won't meet the deadline set by Congress to create a plan to bring affordable high-speed Internet access to all U.S. homes. Instead, it has asked Congress to extend the deadline by one month. The FCC was supposed to hand a national broadband plan to Congress on Feb. 17.

"In order to ensure that there is sufficient time to more fully brief commissioners and key members of Congress, to get additional input from stakeholders, and to fully digest the exhaustive record before the agency, the chairman has requested from Congressional leaders a short extension of 4 weeks," said Colin Crowell, senior adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The announcement comes amid criticism by consumer interest groups, which have complained that updates on the FCC's planning process indicate too little attention to how policies at the agency could bring in new competitors to the biggest telecom and cable Internet service providers.

Robert McDowell, a Republican member of the FCC, reacted strongly to Genachowski's request for an extension.

"I am disappointed that the FCC's broadband team is unable to deliver a national broadband plan to Congress by the statutorily mandated deadline," McDowell said in a statement. "Once we receive a draft plan, I hope the document will reflect the benefit of the additional time being taken to prepare it."

The agency was mandated by Congress, as part of the stimulus plan for broadband funding, to figure out how to connect rural and urban poor areas to broadband Web service. As part of its plan, the FCC was also charged to find way to make broadband Internet more affordable and to train people how to use the technology.

President Obama has put universal broadband access at the center of several policy goals. He has said that national high-speed Internet access -- either cable, fiber lines or wireless -- would help companies turn to smart energy technology and allow health care companies to deliver service remotely.

By Cecilia Kang  |  January 6, 2010; 10:35 PM ET
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A plan to bring affordable high-speed Internet access to all U.S. homes

Today people pay good money for cable TV - satellite radio, their home or mobile phone - and Internet access......remember the old days, when life was less complicated: most people were able to receive a dozen free TV stations (Black & White TV) usually local - but free anyway.....same for your radio - and a small fee for your old rotary dial telephone....this was before the Internet.

And today, we are blessed with the Internet - but it can be very expensive especially for those of us who live on a small fixed income.....$50.00 for Cable TV.....$25.00 for your home phone....forget the car with the satellite radio, or the price of first-rate high speed internet.

I am positive the good people who provided the world with the innovation of the Internet did not have the same views and thoughts of our communication providers.....the pure greed of Cable TV or telephone companies!

And to be honest - the telecommunication industry, some of our Internet Service Providers are delaying or stifling the progress of the Internet here in North America; and we are paying a huge price for this possessiveness.

In Japan - JCOM has 160 MPS for 6300 Yen, or just over $70 US dollars a month.....think of the possibilities, one line in and less than $100 a month!

But our communication providers want you to pay good money for Cable or satellite TV, your monthly home phone & long distance.....and lets not forget the Internet charges which vary depending on how deep your pockets are.

Without the greedy telecommunication industry, people with little money would be able to watch their TV, listen to worldwide radio, make telephone calls anywhere from one line coming into their home for only $10 a month!

The people who can afford the prime, the best communication costs from our greedy telecommunication industry would pay 10 to 20 times this amount.

As for the brilliant people who were sophisticated enough to bring the Internet to the world, they would have understood the benefits this new technology would have for communications in general.....I am positive these people would also believe this type of technology should be available to everyone, no matter where they lived, or how much money they had.

Greed is why after almost twenty years - Internet Service Providers are most likely your local Cable or Phone company, making a fortune off you by stifling the progress of the Internet in North America....

Communication should not cost you a fortune unless you live hundreds of miles away from that case, this is where the government should help?

Maybe in another twenty years - people with little or no money will be able to use this technology which most people take for granted today.


Posted by: mishoj | January 7, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

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