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Federal Internet Law & Policy
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National Broadband Plan Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
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“This country needs a national goal for . . . the spread of broadband technology. We ought to have . . . universal, affordable access for broadband technology by the year 2007, and then we ought to make sure as soon as possible thereafter, consumers have got plenty of choices when it comes to [their] broadband carrier.” - George W. Bush, 2004

"Access to high-speed Internet is no longer a luxury, but an essential tool to compete in this 21st-Century economy. The availability of this technology is critical to attracting the business and development that will create the good paying jobs that stay in the United States." White House | Dept. of Commerce | FCC |

Vice President Joe Biden chats with workers at Impulse Manufacturing after giving a speech on expanding rural broadband as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in Dawsonville, Georgia December 17, 2009. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

FCC Press Release Word | Acrobat: Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Federal Communications Commission delivered to Congress a National Broadband Plan setting an ambitious agenda for connecting all corners of the nation while transforming the economy and society with the communications network of the future -- robust, affordable Internet.

Blair Levin
Blair Levin

"The National Broadband Plan is a 21st century roadmap to spur economic growth and investment, create jobs, educate our children, protect our citizens, and engage in our democracy," said Chairman Julius Genachowski. "It's an action plan, and action is necessary to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, and harness the power of broadband to help address so many vital national issues."

"In every era, America must confront the challenge of connecting the nation anew," said Blair Levin, Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the FCC. "Above all else, the plan is a call to action to meet that challenge for our era. If we meet it, we will have networks, devices, and applications that create new solutions to seemingly intractable problems."

Closing Broadband Gaps

NBP Implementation Status:

Titled "Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan," the Plan found that while broadband access and use have increased over the past decade, the nation must do much more to connect all individuals and the economy to broadband's transformative benefits. Nearly 100 million Americans lack broadband at home today, and 14 million Americans do not have access to broadband even if they want it. Only 42 percent of people with disabilities use broadband at home, while as few as 5 percent of people living on Tribal lands have access. Meanwhile, the cost of digital exclusion for the student unable to access the Internet to complete a homework assignment, or for the unemployed worker who can't search for a job online, continues to grow.

Other gaps threaten America's global competitiveness. A looming shortage of wireless spectrum could impede U.S. innovation and leadership in popular wireless mobile broadband services. More useful applications, devices, and content are needed to create value for consumers. And the nation has failed to harness broadband's power to transform delivery of government services, health care, education, public safety, energy conservation, economic development, and other national priorities.

America's 2020 Broadband Vision

The Plan's call for action over the next decade includes the following goals and recommendations:

The Plan was mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 and produced by an FCC task force that set new precedents for government openness, transparency, and rigor. Information for the plan was gathered in 36 public workshops, 9 field hearing, and 31 public notices that produced 75,000 pages of public comments. The debate went online with 131 blogposts that triggered 1,489 comments; 181 ideas on IdeaScale garnering 6,100 votes; 69,500 views on YouTube; and 335,000 Twitter followers. The task force augmented this voluminous record with independent research and data-gathering.

About half of the Plan's recommendations are addressed to the FCC, while the remainder are for Congress, the Executive Branch, state and local government, working closely with the private and nonprofit sectors.

3/16/10 FCC Sends National Broadband Plan to Congress. National Broadband Plan: Acrobat News Release: Word | Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Clyburn Statement: Word | Acrobat
Baker Statement: Word | Acrobat


FCC Launches Development Of National Broadband Plan
Seeks Public Input on Plan to Ensure Every American has Access to Broadband Capability

Washington, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission today begins the process of developing a national broadband plan that will seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability.

In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - known as the stimulus package - Congress charged the Commission with creating a national broadband plan. In a Notice of Inquiry adopted today, the Commission begins a proceeding to create that national broadband plan, seeking input from all stakeholders: consumers, industry, large and small businesses, non-profits, the disabilities community, governments at the federal, state, local and tribal levels, and all other interested parties.

The Commission must deliver the plan to Congress by Feb. Mar. 17, 2010. It will provide a roadmap toward achieving the goal of ensuring that all Americans reap the benefits of broadband. The Recovery Act requires the plan to explore several key elements of broadband deployment and use, and the Commission now seeks comment on these elements, including:

Action by the Commission, April 8, 2009, by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 09-31). Acting Chairman Copps, Commissioners Adelstein, and McDowell. Separate statements issued by Acting Chairman Copps, Commissioners Adelstein, and McDowell. Docket No. GN 09-51 : FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: April 8, 2009

Broadband Plan Sub NOIs

Workshops:

Field Hearings

Legislation

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5 (Recovery Act) signed into law on February 17, 2009

Recovery Act s 6001 (k)

(1) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Commission shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, a report containing a national broadband plan.

(2) The national broadband plan required by this section shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal. The plan shall also include-- (A) an analysis of the most effective and efficient mechanisms for ensuring broadband access by all people of the United States; (B) a detailed strategy for achieving affordability of such service and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and service by the public; (C) an evaluation of the status of deployment of broadband service, including progress of projects supported by the grants made pursuant to this section; and (D) a plan for use of broadband infrastructure and services in advancing consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth, and other national purposes. (3) In developing the plan, the Commission shall have access to data provided to other Government agencies under the Broadband Data Improvement Act (47 U.S.C. 1301 note).

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