Last week, The Federal Communications Commission began the process of developing a national broadband plan that will seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. (Mike O’Connor wrote a more timely post on the topic with some great links.)
They are looking for 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. 17, 2010. You can get a list of information they are looking for in the Notice of Inquiry. The topics range greatly – from high level to specific. (I was going to pull out the specific questions – but the list got too long and not as helpful as reading it from the horse’s mouth.)
It’s a great opportunity to chime in!
- the definition of “unserved area,”
- the definition of “underserved area,”
- the definition of “broadband,”
- the non-discrimination obligations that will be contractual conditions of BTOP grants,
- the network interconnection obligations that will be contractual conditions of BTOP
I mention this because I think the earlier questions (definitions et al) will be the basis of funds distribution and scaffolding for the National Broadband Plan. So if you want to comment at the very fiber of the plans (National broadband and funds distribution) I’d look at the earlier opportunity. If you had more detailed advice, look to the more recent opportunity.
Or you could send your comments directly to the NTIA/RUS, which is what others have done – such as Blandin and Main Street Project, Institute for Local Self Reliance and others.