FCC Chair: ‘Get Our Broadband Infrastructure Right’

by Guest Contributor on November 9, 2011

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski laid out in recent remarks the regulatory agency’s role in delivering broadband and broadband services to the nation.

Delivering probably his most poignant speech on broadband deployment and job growth, Genachowski cited the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. The plan, which was delivered to Congress in March 2010, highlights the FCC’s goal of making an additional 500 Mhz of spectrum available for broadband deployment. It also sets as a goal making broadband services accessible by every household in the United States.

“In developing America’s first National Broadband Plan, we set out a vision and an ambitious strategic agenda for seizing the opportunities of high-speed Internet and ensuring U.S. leadership in the global broadband economy,” Genachowski said.

Mr. Genachowski then made reference to net neutrality rules passed by the FCC in December 2010. The rules, which become effective on November 22, in general require that broadband providers do not block access to lawful content or lawful websites. The rules also require that broadband providers make available to subscribers certain information on their management and operational practices.

“Last year we adopted a strong and balanced framework to preserve Internet freedom and openness,” Genachowski said. “We said these widely supported rules of the road would increase certainty and predictability in the marketplace, unleashing new innovation and investment across the broadband economy. And they have.”

Acknowledging that the agency’s work is not done, Genachowski laid out future goals and strategies going forward for the FCC, including:

  • Facilitating the closure of the spectrum gap by implementing voluntary incentive auctions of broadcast spectrum.
  • Modernizing the Universal Service Fund to subsidize the deployment of broadband facilities and services to the unserved and the underserved.
  • Engaging the public and private sector to partner in creating initiatives that close the broadband adoption and skills gap.
  • The chairman said the FCC has removed some 50 unnecessary regulations, included unneeded restrictions on the use of spectrum. Genachowski added that the FCC has streamlined the process for adding broadband wire and wireless devices to utility poles and has advanced reforms for getting schools, libraries and hospitals connected to the Internet.

    This article by Alton Drew originally appeared on Politic365.

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