FCC's April Meeting Will Be a Big One

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released the agenda for its April 8 open meeting, and developing a national broadband plan topped the list. Another big item is a notice that the FCC will be soliciting data for its annual video competition report that discusses how people get their video. The FCC has not gathered this data since 2006 due to fighting between Congress and the previous FCC chairman, Kevin Martin, over the 2006 report.

The FCC has until Feb. 17 of next year to get a national broadband plan to Congress, and since we’re pretty sure a lot of companies and individuals will want to weigh in on this process,  the opening of the Notice of Inquiry (in FCC-speak) should get a lot of attention. Om and I have mentioned what we want in our national broadband plan before, but here’s a quick rundown of a few of the items:

  • An emphasis on future technologies (mostly wireless) that boost marketplace competition. For instance, large increases in license-free bandwidth could could lead to a lot of innovation without spending too much government money.
  • Special incentives to attract new players rather than incumbents that bring broadband to the masses.
  • Better and more connectivity to office buildings, especially from newer players.
  • An IP- and broadband-centric, rather than voice-centric, approach to reforming the Universal Service Fund.
  • An understanding that web monopolist Google, and other web companies, are not the consumer’s friend, so their agenda shouldn’t automatically be trusted.

Let’s get this process rolling. Better broadband can’t wait.

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