FCC Unveils National Broadband Plan

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its National Broadband Plan to Congress.

FCC Chair Julius Genachowski called the document an “action plan” for a “21st century roadmap to spur economic growth and investment, create jobs, educate our children, protect our citizens, and engage in our democracy.”

An Executive Summary of the Plan (PDF) stated that nearly 200 million Americans possessed a broadband Internet connection as of last year, up from 8 million in 2000. 100 million citizens are still without broadband at home however and perhaps more importantly, “nearly a decade after 9/11, our first responders still lack a nationwide public safety mobile broadband communications network.”

The plant details four ways in which the government can hold sway over the broadband “ecosystem,” which included: designing policies to ensure competition, ensuring efficient allocation and management of assets, ensuring that low-income citizens can afford broadband and reforming laws, policies, standards and incentives to maximize benefits for thepublic education, health care and government sectors.

Specific recommendations included:

•  Developing disclosure requirements fir broadband service providers
•  Changing rules to ensure a competitive and innovative video set-top box market
•  Making 500MHz of spectrum available for broadband within 10 years (The FCC says it only
   has 50MHz in inventory at the moment)
•  Creating the Connect America Fund in order to offer affordable broadband and voice
    services with at least 4 Mbps download speeds.
•  Launching a National Digital Literacy Corps

The report also issued six goals that should serve “as a compass” over the next decade:

1. 100 million homes should have affordable access to download speeds of at least 100
    Mbps and upload speeds of 50 Mbps.
2. The U.S. should lead the world in mobile innovation.
3. Every American should have affordable access to robust broadband service.
4. Every American community should have access to at least 1 Gbps broadband service to
    anchor schools, hospitals and government buildings.
5. First responders should have access to a nationwide wireless public safety network.
6. Ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy.

Stealing a page from Google, the report stated that “the plan is in beta, and will always be,” as it will “always be changing.”

It’s estimated that the plan, if enacted, could cost anywhere between $20 and $350 billion dollars. Some also wonder if the plan would actually raise the price of Internet connections, despite the use of the word “affordable” throughout the document.

A PDF of the full plan can be downloaded here (it’s a rather large 12MB file).

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  1. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    I don’t know about anywhere else, but here in Minnesota, telecommunications companies do have to do the maintenance.

    Also, yeah, let’s nationalize landlines.  They’ll be in just as super of a condition as roadways!  We’ll never have any downtime, and they’ll always be perfect!*


    [anyone who knows the two seasons in Minnesota know what I’m getting at here, winter and road construction.]

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  2. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Meh we’d be better off if they nationalized land lines….. or at least made it so that they can not monoplize them like they do now if they use them they must maintain them.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Bullshit, but completely expected, since it can be argued that it counts as interstate commerce, which would be controlled in such a fashion by the federal government.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Did I miss something?  I gathered that this wasn’t about "free internet," so much as getting physical access to broadband to places that don’t have it, i.e. rural areas of the US.  As I live in an area where access to broadband is limited, I can tell you that people will pay for it, if it was physically accessible.

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is more about laying the necessary cable than it is about subsidizing broadband internet.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  5. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Yeah, because high speed internet access is a right now, right?  I mean, you shouldn’t HAVE to pay for it.  Unless you actually earn money, in which case you have to help pay for those too lazy to.

  6. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Heh, then telecom companies will see justification for rate hikes I guess.

    None of this will mean anything as long as corporations aren’t willing to spend the little bit of extra cash upgrading ot keep long term costs down.

  7. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Nationalize the land lines and rent them fairly to everyone
    (well business’s anyway) they will either be forced to play nice while they start putting real money into infrastructure (which they blew millions of tax payer dollars on btw) or do something more with cell to compete with it, it’s win/win either way.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy!
    CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people!

  8. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    So basically they are hedging their bets that the 500MHZ spectrum will get everyone cheap broadband instead of taking the gdamn landlines from the gdamn bastard corporations?

    *le sigh*

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy!
    CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people!

  9. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Well…from what I’ve read so far…it doesn’t seem intrusive, and it certainly isn’t as wasteful as some of the other things passed/done in the past 9 years…

    While I disagree with these types of policies, I don’t see a problem with this bill, constitutionally.

    Also, I believe that there’s a typo at the beginning of paragraph 4. "The plant"?

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  10. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I’m all for this unless the government tries to sneak in loopholes that can lead to internet filtering.  It seems to be the hot new trend ’round the "free" world.  And in this age of Patriot Acts and ever-growing Stateism, I wouldn’t put it past a single US poltitician…

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