SSW Blog

High Hope for our Future National Broadband Plan

Posted on | June 30, 2009 | No Comments

Lately there is a firestorm over how to draft some specifics into a national broadband policy as well as there is ongoing debate about how to advance broadband deployment, how to define broadband as “service” or “infrastructure” and other concerns like unserved and underserved rural areas. The plan will be due by February 17, 2010. I am grateful when FCC decided to extend a deadline to July 21st to file comments about issues relating to the Plan. Please be encouraged to file reply comments or surf through the FCC by typing “GN Docket No.09-51”. You will be able to read some filed comments and provide feedback about how to put together any important issues into the National Broadband Plan.

On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation had confirmed Julius Genachowski, a new FCC Chairman. Look for the link: “View Captioned Webcast” (in spite of its poor quality of video; for warning: successive of black screens)

In hope to shift the FCC’s focus on the consumers from the Corporate interests, this Nomination committee had raised some excellent suggestions and concerns. Their major highlights are as follows:

  • FCC Reform – more transparency, more openness & fairness; and enforcement
  • Broadband Map
  • No need to “overburden” Broadcasters
  • Net Neutrality
  • Copyright protections in programming & entertainment
  • Broadband Installation in the Federal Road project
  • Uncompleted job of Digital TV Transition (DTV)
  • A new National Broadband Policy
  • Deployment Affordability
  • Declining of Traditional Media; Newspapers
  • Broadband Capability including deploying the fiber optics
  • Re-visit V-Chip
  • Universal Service Fund
  • E-911
  • Spectrum Policy
  • Wireless Broadband Network including mobile
  • Public Safety Network

However, I was very disappointed about some important aspects of equal access as missing from above. For example, what about captioning, TRS, equal access on the Internet and manufacturers for DVD, TV and HD like CC chip?

By April 2009, 63% of Americans had used broadband connections. Out of 30 countries, USA is lagging behind the world as 15th rank.  The Senate Nomination had mentioned that it is an embarrassment to the U.S. as being falling behind by broadband deployment, speed and price as well as performance.

From Our Taxpayers’ Expense

Do you know that the White House will provide $7.2 billion grant and loan program for broadband access? The breakdown of this program is as follows:

  • $250 million for innovative programs;
  • at least $200 million for upgrade tech & capacity;
  • $10 millions for audit & oversight;
  • $350 million for broadband mapping.

Will it be the FCC that oversees this massive project or who will make decisions about mapping the broadband across the nation? There is one place called Connected Nation to handle the broadband mapping project but almost all people who serve the board are representatives for Corporations. (See Info).

There are several websites about the broadband map in your area but some are shut down due to the sabotage lately.

Please be encouraged to file your comments at the FCC or one other web site: Internet for Everyone that will help you with the steps. Let’s look forward to the new FCC web site as FCC Chair Genachowski had promised the staff today on his brief speech.

Further Reading Recommendations:

1.  Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

2. Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development

3. Broadband Census

4. Reaching for the American Dream by Connecting our Nation

5. Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology