|Weekly News Digest
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FCC Launches Development of National Broadband Plan
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC; www.fcc.gov) has begun 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-informally known as "the stimulus package"-Congress charged the FCC with creating a national broadband plan. In a Notice of Inquiry adopted April 8, the Commission began a proceeding to create that national broadband plan, seeking input from all stakeholders: consumers; industry; large and small businesses; nonprofits; the disabilities community; governments at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels; and all other interested parties.
The FCC must deliver the plan to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010. It will provide a road map to 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 FCC now seeks comment on these elements, including the following:
- The most effective and efficient ways to ensure broadband access for all Americans
- Strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services
- Evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, including the progress of related grant programs
- How to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, healthcare delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation, and economic growth, and other national purposes
Comments may be filed using 1) the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS; www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs), 2) the federal government's e-rulemaking portal (www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp), or 3) by filing paper copies. All filings related to this Notice of Inquiry should refer to GN Docket No. 09-51.
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
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