Federal Communications Commission

Author Archive

What the National Broadband Plan Does for National Priorities

November 10th, 2010 by Thomas Brown

Yesterday, Senior Advisor to the Chairman on Broadband Phoebe Yang and members of the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative presented to the Federal Communications Bar Association on recent progress on some of the “national purposes” recommendations in the Plan. These “national purposes” include issues like health, education and energy.

You can check out their presentation here.

Generating Civic Capital: FCC’s Open Developer Day

November 5th, 2010 by Thomas Brown

The National Broadband Plan called on government to “leverage broadband to experiment with new ideas and technologies to extend opportunities for engagement.” In that spirit, we’re excited to highlight the FCC’s Open Developer Day, coming up this Monday, November 8.

All of us at the FCC, and especially our Chief Data Officer, Greg Elin, have been focused on the power and possibilities of making more data available to citizens, tinkerers and developers; Open Developer Day will be yet another demonstration of that focus. As Greg highlighted in a blog post last week, the event will bring together citizen developers and engineers from Yahoo! to develop a clearinghouse Web application intended to make it as easy as possible for people with disabilities, families, and support professionals to find information about accessible technologies. It will also support the Plan’s recommendation that the FCC “create an ongoing web presence to allow participants to share information about public and private accessibility efforts and discuss accessibility barriers and inaccessible products.”

(To RSVP for Open Developer Day, click here.)

We hope that Open Developer Day will inspire other federal agencies to hold their own Open Developer Days and apply similarly innovative approaches to tackling public challenges. Joshua Tauberer, who founded the congressional transparency website in his spare time (!), has said that “open data is civic capital.” Platforms for effectively using open data are civic capital too, and we look forward to seeing what our participants on Monday generate.

More Thoughts on Unleashing our Invisible Infrastructure

October 28th, 2010 by Thomas Brown

As Chairman Genachowski noted in an earlier post, "the future is being built on our invisible infrastructure" - the electromagnetic spectrum that has enabled innovations like the smartphone and Wi-Fi. Recently, senior leadership at the FCC provided their thoughts on the National Broadband Plan's efforts to unleash this invisible infrastructure to audiences at a Law Seminars International event in Washington, DC and 4G World in Chicago, Illinois. Their remarks, after the jump.

Read their remarks here.

Solving the Innovator's Dilemma: Turning Talk into Practical Results

July 20th, 2010 by Thomas Brown

I thought I'd draw everyone's attention to this op-ed  in last Friday's Washington Post by Blair Levin and Erik Garr, two former co-leaders of the team that developed the National Broadband Plan here at the FCC. The questions they raise are timely: Why are America's schools still using ink-on-paper textbooks, when digital technology offers a much better way? Why is our national discussion about broadband not focused on how to use those networks and completely rethink the delivery of key services?

Lately, we at the FCC have not just been thinking about these questions; we've also been acting to make increased innovation and investment in the broadband ecosystem a reality. In our FY 2011 E-Rate NPRM, adopted in May, we proposed rules that would make the E-rate program a more effective educational tool, spurring innovations that support teachers, parents, and students. These included a proposal to support online learning 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by allowing use of wireless Internet access service away from school premises.

And on July 26-27, the FCC and FDA will hold a joint public meeting to better understand the landscape of emerging wireless medical technologies and trends, and their potential benefits, risks and challenges from various stakeholder perspectives - patients, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, engineers, and manufacturers. This collaboration will be a critical step in the development and approval of emerging wireless medical devices and applications that hold great promise for improving the quality of health care and reducing costs.

We closed the National Broadband Plan by describing the importance for America of "reducing talk" regarding broadband "into practical results." What do you think are the most important things the FCC can do to promote innovation and investment in health care, education, energy, public safety and other national purposes?

Capture The Phone Numbers Using Your Camera Phone

If you have a camera and a 2D matrix code reader on your mobile phone, you can capture the FCC Phone numbers right to your phone by following these three easy steps:
Step 1: Take a photograph of one of the codes below using the camera on your mobile phone.
Step 2: Use your phone's Datamatrix or QR Code reader to decode the information on the photograph. Please note, these code readers are device specific and are available to download on the internet.
Step 3: Store the decoded address information to your phone's address book and use it with your Maps or GPS application.

Datamatrix and QR FCC Phones