Federal Communications Commission

In the News... Category

FCC Chairman Announces Jobs-Focused Digital Literacy Partnership Between Connect2Compete and the 2,800 American Job Centers

July 23rd, 2012 by Jordan Usdan - Acting Director, Public-Private Initiatives

by: Jordan Usdan and Kevin Almasy, Public-Private Initiatives

July 23rd, 2012

We know today’s job market is more competitive than ever, but trying to find a job without knowing how to use the Internet is becoming nearly impossible.  Over 80% of Fortune 500 companies, from Target to Wal-Mart, require online job applications.  In the next decade, it is estimated that nearly 80% of jobs will require digital skills. From call center workers, to retail employees, to receptionists, to even manufacturers and construction workers, the jobs of today and tomorrow require digital skills. 

The fact that 66 million Americans are without basic digital literacy skills, the skillset needed to use a computer and the Internet, is troubling both for job seekers and employers alike. In fact, 52% of American employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions, up from 14% in 2010, due to the nationwide skills gap.

As the costs of digital exclusion rises, what’s at stake is not only the competitiveness of the American workforce, but also the vitality of our country in the 21st century.  The good news is the private sector, government, and philanthropy are working together, through the Connect2Compete (C2C) coalition, to help close the digital divide and the skills gap.

Last week, Chairman Genachowski and Secretary of Labor Solis announced a nationwide digital literacy partnership between the 2,800 American Job Centers and C2C, extending the digital literacy training coalition to thousands of communities across the country. 

The announcement is part of C2C’s effort to help narrow the digital divide by making high-speed Internet access, computers, educational and jobs content, and digital literacy training more accessible for millions of Americans without home connectivity. C2C, a public-private partnership, is comprised of more than 40 non-profit and private sector partners, such as Best Buy, Discovery, LULAC, the National Urban League, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The Job Centers will join C2C’s existing digital literacy coalition of libraries, non-profits, and community centers as a computing and digital literacy provider. In addition, all participating American Job Centers will promote C2C’s broadband adoption offerings, which include discounted Internet service and refurbished laptop computers. 

C2C also announced that it will launch a database to help Americans find their nearest digital literacy training center, including American Job Centers, non-profit providers, and public libraries. A website and toll-free number will direct users to thousands of free training providers. The initiative will be promoted by a nationwide Ad Council campaign on digital literacy, beginning in early 2013.

Low-Cost Broadband and Computers for Students and Families

November 10th, 2011 by Jordan Usdan - Acting Director, Public-Private Initiatives

By Josh Gottheimer and Jordan Usdan, Chairman's Office

Yesterday, at a public school in Washington, DC, joined by cable and technology executives and nonprofit leaders, FCC Chairman Genachowski announced an unprecedented effort to help close the digital divide, bringing low-cost broadband and computers to many low-income Americans.

Right now nearly one-third of the country – 100 million Americans – doesn’t have high-speed Internet at home.  Compare that to Singapore and Korea, where broadband adoption rates top 90 percent.  Minorities and low-income Americans are the hardest hit by this divide.  Research shows that cost, relevance, and digital literacy are the primary reasons many people aren’t connecting. Whether we're talking about jobs, education, or health care, in this day and age, getting online is a necessity, not a convenience.

The “Connect to Compete” effort will offer eligible families in the National School Lunch Program discounted $9.95/ month broadband Internet, $150 laptop or desktop refurbished computers, and free digital literacy training.  This represents a $4 billion in-kind offering for tens of millions of Americans. And it won’t spend any taxpayer dollars.

Yesterday, President Obama said: “This important partnership between my Administration and American businesses represents a major step towards closing the digital divide -- connecting more families to the 21st century economy, creating new jobs and unleashing new opportunities, and helping America win the future.”

You can learn more about the announcement here: USA Today, CBS News, Reuters.

Closing the digital divide isn’t just an economic issue, it’s one of the great civil rights challenges of our time. Broadband can be the great equalizer – giving every American with an Internet connection access to a world of new opportunities that might otherwise be beyond their reach. A Federal Reserve study found that students with a PC and broadband at home have six to eight percentage point higher graduation rates than similar student who don’t have home access to the Internet.

Today’s announcement includes a few critical components:

1.      New Low-Cost $9.95 Internet Broadband Internet

  • The cable industry, under the leadership of NCTA President Michael Powell, will offer all non-adopting families with a child eligible for the free National School Lunch Program basic broadband service for two years at $9.95 + tax per month, with no installation/activation or modem rental fees. This represents a discount of approximately 70% and will be available in all 50 states.

2.      New Low-Cost Family PCs

  • Redemtech, a technology refurbishment company, has committed to offer a refurbished $150 + tax powerful laptop, or desktop with LCD monitor,plus Microsoft Office, Windows 7, warranty, tech support, and free shipping to all eligible families.
  • Microsoft, starting early next year, will work with its hardware partners to introduce a series of affordable, high-quality education computers, starting at $250, that include Windows and Office software.
  • Morgan Stanley has committed to develop a microcredit program to help families afford the upfront cost of a computer.

3.      Digital Literacy

  • Best Buy, Microsoft, America’s Public Libraries and the FCC are collaborating to make sure free basic digital literacy training can be available in America’s communities.  In addition, Microsoft is developing a portal to provide free online digital literacy training.

4.      Grassroots Effort

  • An unprecedented coalition of nonprofit and grassroots organization have committed to help spread the word about Connect to Compete. These include: America’s Promise Alliance; Digital Promise; Opportunity Nation; United Way Worldwide; Boys and Girls Club; Connected Nation; Goodwill; CFY; 4H; members of the Broadband Opportunity Coalition: The Asian American Justice Center, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Urban League, One Economy, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); the Minority and Media Telecommunications Council (MMTC) and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

5.      Leadership and Implementation

  • The Connect to Compete offerings will be rolled out in select cities starting in spring 2012 and will begin to rollout nationwide in the fall.
  • Kelley Dunne will lead Connect to Compete, a new nonprofit initiative, building on his role as CEO of One Economy, one of the most effective organizations in the digital literacy space.

For more information go to

Interested in learning more? Watch a video of the event, read the Chairman's remarks, see the fact sheet

9-1-1's Next Frontier

November 23rd, 2010 by George Krebs

This morning Chairman Genachowski, Public Safety Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett and a collection of FCC staff visited a state-of-the-art response facility at the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center in Arlington, Virginia. Following the vision laid out in the National Broadband Plan, the event marks the announcement of steps to revolutionize America’s 9-1-1 system by harnessing the potential of text, photo, and video in emergencies.

Our communications needs are increasingly reliant on mobile devices. In fact, 70% of 9-1-1 calls originate from mobile phones and users rely regularly on texts and multimedia messages. While a subsequent evolution of our 9-1-1 system seems a natural -- and obvious -- step for digitally aware citizen, our current 9-1-1 system doesn’t utilize the superb, possibly life-saving potential within our existing mobile devices. With videos, pictures, texts -- and other untold mobile innovations surely on the horrizon -- next-generation 9-1-1 will position public safety officials a step ahead with critical real-time, on-the-ground information.

After a tour of the high-tech operations room, Chairman Genachowski and Admiral Barnett spoke to the promise of next-generation 9-1-1. Here's an excerpt from Chairman Genachowski's speech.

"Even though mobile phones are the device of choice for most 9-1-1 callers, and we primarily use our phones to text, right now, you can’t text 9-1-1. Let me reiterate that point. If you find yourself in an emergency situation and want to send a text for help, you can pretty much text anyone EXCEPT a 9-1-1 call center.

"...It’s time to bring 9-1-1 into the digital age."

Read the rest of the Chairmans’s speech, view more photos and see the benefits of Next Generation 9-1-1 after the jump.

(This is cross-posted on The FCC Official Blog.)

Popular Science’s “100 Best Innovations of the Year”

November 22nd, 2010 by Pam Gregory


Geek Alert! Popular Science is out with its annual “100 Best Innovations of the Year.” Reliability cool any year, this year’s list is also notable for a number of innovations that stand to make technology more accessible and lives easier for the disabled.

A few of my personal favorites:

  • Prosthetic hands, by ProDigits, developed by roboticists that moved the electronics from the palm and put them into the fingers—such a leap forward that people can eventually type with their new hand.
  • Siri, a personal assistant app that uses natural-language speech recognition to carry out complex demands— “Make a reservation for four at Chef Geoff’s at 7pm Saturday night,” for example.
  • Google Goggles, an app that enables Web searches based on images captured by your smartphone.
  • The GE VSCAN, a mobile ultrasound machine about the size of a cell phone. Particularly interesting given that an estimated 500 million people will use mobile health apps by 2015.
  • The iPad (of course).
  • The ecoATM cell phone recycler, which lets you turn in your used handset and get paid for its value.
  • A wireless phone charging station — just place your phone on a pad!
  • Wikitude, an augmented reality browser that uses geo-location data to identify places, sites and buildings.
  • A telescope eye implant that can restore a “severe vision impairment” to a “moderate vision impairment.”
  • User-friendly crutches . Developed by Jeff Webber (who was on the team that designed Herman Millers Aeron chair), these fundamentally changing the shape of the crutch from a “T” to an “A” frame.
  • A Google search engine for television, which gathers metadata with keywords. It was developed on an open platform allowing developers to make more accessible television guides or even translate closed captioning, .
  • A crime-busting hardware attachment for the iPhone, which uses biometrics such as iris recognition, fingerprints, etc. Now police can take a photo of a suspect and use facial recognition software to match to those awful “WANTED” posters.
  • A wireless system for IPTV called WiDi, for wireless display.
  • A new diagnostic technology that allows Kenmore washer and dryers to send data to a technician over a phone line, and depending on the problem, the technician can talk you through the fix, or just send a repair person.
  • And finally, a new web language, HTML 5 that allows browsers to display video on a computer, phone, iPad, without having to install software such as Flash.

Alan Gregerman, author of Surrounded by Geniuses once said, “Like Benjamin Franklin, we have to stand in a storm to be truly inspired (or electrified)”. He could have been talking about just such a list. Onward and upward!

The Record Is Clear: America Needs More Spectrum

April 8th, 2010 by Edward Lazarus - Chief of Staff

Many have noted recent comments by the CEO of Verizon Ivan Seidenberg casting doubt on the need to allocate additional spectrum for mobile broadband, a key recommendation in the National Broadband Plan.

The FCC based the spectrum recommendations in the National Broadband Plan on the public record generated by an unprecedented open and participatory process.

That’s why the recent statements by Verizon’s CEO are rather baffling. The fact is, Verizon played a major role in building an overwhelming record in support of more mobile broadband spectrum, consistently expressing its official view that the country faces a looming spectrum crisis that could undermine the country’s global competitiveness.

Verizon’s advocacy began as early as June 9, 2009, where their filing stated:

“Verizon Wireless believes it is vitally important for the federal government to identify spectrum bands that can be reallocated for future broadband use. Any policy or strategy to promote broadband access to acknowledge the need for more spectrum in order to meet the growing demand for wireless broadband.”

“The government has the responsibility to identify and license spectrum to serve the public interest.”

“Verizon Wireless believes that a more important goal of any spectrum inventory should be to identify any underused spectrum that can be repurposed to auction for broadband use.”

Verizon’s push for more mobile broadband spectrum continued in a September 30, 2009 filing, which notes:

“The Commission has identified only 50 megahertz of additional spectrum for next generation wireless growth. This total lags behind both the United States’ competitor nations as well as the ever increasing demand for mobile broadband services. Verizon Wireless therefore urges the Commission to undertake a targeted examination of spectrum to identify additional bands.”

“Recognizing that ‘the world is at the precipice of the full scale convergence of two powerful and sweeping forces: wireless mobility and broadband internet access,’ numerous studies have analyzed the growing market for mobile broadband and concluded that significant additional spectrum must be allocated in order to keep up with demand and changing technologies. These studies make clear the urgency with which the Commission must act to identify and allocate additional spectrum for wireless services in order to maintain and promote innovation.”

Indeed, the need for more spectrum is well documented in the many studies submitted into National Broadband Plan record. According to Cisco, North American wireless networks carried an amount of data equivalent to 1,700 Libraries of Congress. By 2014, Cisco projects wireless networks in North America will experience more than a 40-fold increase in data traffic.

Participating in a National Broadband Plan workshop on spectrum, Bill Stone, Executive Director of Network Strategy for Verizon Wireless noted that the company has recently experienced substantial data growth in its network and would need more spectrum in the coming years:

“I'll say in the five-plus year timeframe, I'd like to have north of -- I'd like to be in a position where I could acquire north of 100 megahertz.”

Even as recently December 2, 2009, Verizon Wireless, along with nearly 100 other leading companies from across the broadband ecosystem, sent a letter to Commission offering their help in pursuing more spectrum for mobile broadband:

“Our nation’s ability to lead the world in innovation and technology is threatened by the lack of sufficient spectrum for wireless broadband applications and services. As the chairman has said, there is a looming spectrum crisis. We applaud your candid acknowledgement of this fact and appreciate your efforts to close the spectrum gap.”

“Without more spectrum, America’s global leadership in innovation and technology is threatened. The undersigned urge you to allocate more spectrum for wireless broadband as soon as possible. Please let us know how we can help.”

Moreover, the wireless industry’s trade association (CTIA -- of which Verizon is a member) called for 800 Mhz of spectrum for mobile broadband -- 300 Mhz more spectrum more than the Plan recommended -- to address the looming spectrum crunch.

As the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) aptly summarized: "Given the potential of wireless services to reach underserved areas and to provide an alternative to wireline broadband providers in other areas, the Commission’s primary tool for promoting broadband competition should be freeing up spectrum."

The National Broadband Plan record contains widespread agreement and a solid foundation of factual evidence on the need for the FCC to pursue policies that would free up 500 Mhz for mobile broadband by 2020.

We hope to work with Verizon and other companies across the communications sector on ways to achieve the important goal of ensuring that the United States has world-leading mobile broadband infrastructure.

Implications of Comcast Decision on National Broadband Plan Implementation

April 7th, 2010 by Austin Schlick - General Counsel

Much already has been written about the D.C. Circuit’s decision yesterday in the so-called Comcast/BitTorrent case (Comcast Corp. v. FCC). Some important facts are at risk of being lost in the discussion.

The Comcast/BitTorrent case began in 2007, when Internet users discovered that Comcast was secretly interfering with its customers’ lawful use of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer applications. After first denying that the practice existed, Comcast eventually agreed to end it. In 2008, the FCC issued an order finding Comcast in violation of federal Internet policy as stated in various provisions of the Communications Act and prior Commission decisions.

In yesterday’s ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the Commission’s 2008 order lacked a sufficient statutory basis, because it did not identify “any express statutory delegation of authority” for putting an end to Comcast’s undisclosed interference with its own customers’ communications. That’s an important ruling: It undermines the legal approach the FCC adopted in 2005 to fulfill its statutory duty of being the cop-on-the-beat for 21st Century communications networks.

Does the FCC still have a mission in the Internet area? Absolutely. The nation’s broadband networks represent the indispensable infrastructure for American competitiveness and prospects for future job creation, economic growth, and innovation. The Court did not adopt the view that the Commission lacks authority to protect the openness of the Internet. Furthermore, in 2009, Congress directed the agency to develop a plan to ensure that every American has access to broadband. Just three weeks ago, the Commission released its National Broadband Plan. The Plan contains more than 200 recommendations for bringing high-speed service to underserved individuals and communities, and using broadband to promote American competitiveness, education, healthcare, public safety, and civic participation.

The Comcast/BitTorrent opinion has no effect at all on most of the Plan. Many of the recommendations for the FCC itself involve matters over which the Commission has an “express statutory delegation of authority.” These include critical projects such as making spectrum available for broadband uses, improving the efficiency of wireless systems, bolstering the use of broadband in schools, improving coordination with Native American governments to promote broadband, collecting better broadband data, unleashing competition and innovation in smart video devices, and developing common standards for public safety networks.

At the same time, yesterday’s decision may affect a significant number of important Plan recommendations.  Among them are recommendations aimed at accelerating broadband access and adoption in rural America; connecting low-income Americans, Native American communities, and Americans with disabilities; supporting robust use of broadband by small businesses to drive productivity, growth and ongoing innovation; lowering barriers that hinder broadband deployment; strengthening public safety communications; cybersecurity; consumer protection, including transparency and disclosure; and consumer privacy. The Commission must have a sound legal basis for implementing each of these recommendations. We are assessing the implications of yesterday’s decision for each one, to ensure that the Commission has adequate authority to execute the mission laid out in the Plan.

Long Lines for the iPad and Staying Ahead of the Curve

April 2nd, 2010 by Phil Bellaria - Director, Scenario Planning, Omnibus Broadband Initiative

By Phil Bellaria - Director, Scenario Planning, Omnibus Broadband Initiative and John Leibovitz - Deputy Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

With lines expected to go out the doors of Apple stores nationwide when the iPad is released tomorrow, it's a good time to think about the changing ways Americans are accessing broadband.  More and more, it seems Americans don’t want to be tethered to a desktop computer -- or even a laptop -- but want a light mobile device they can curl up on the sofa with to watch an on-line movie, stow in a backpack for subway reading, or pass around the office with the latest vacation pictures.  The broadband connections that enable this flexibility are wireless – a fact that points out the need for more spectrum for mobile broadband that we identified in the National Broadband Plan.

Many iPads will rely solely on Wi-Fi to connect to broadband, and the Plan recognizes how Wi-Fi broadband access on unlicensed spectrum can relieve the growing pressure on licensed cellular networks. The Plan calls for the FCC to free up a new, contiguous nationwide band of spectrum for unlicensed use over the next ten years. These bands have the added benefit of providing economical broadband access in rural areas that aren’t well served now.

Other consumers will buy iPads configured to also connect to AT&T’s commercial licensed networks, adding to the fast-growing volume of data traffic that has already been fueled by smart phones, like the iPad’s little brother, the iPhone, and laptop aircards. The growth is exciting – and a call for action to stave off network congestion. Consider this: AT&T’s data traffic has grown by 5000% over the past three years. Cisco estimates that smartphones alone can generate 30 times more data traffic than a basic feature phone. And laptops can generate many times the traffic of a smartphone.

Before long, we’ll have an idea about what the iPad’s impact on spectrum use will be. But we shouldn’t wait. The FCC’s National Broadband Plan has outlined the fundamentals of a bold spectrum policy for the future. It includes short-term steps, such as carriers building out 4G networks, more cell phone towers, and migrating to more efficient equipment. But long-term, it’s clear that we’ll need to act on the Plan’s call for more spectrum.

Failing to do so will frustrate consumers with balky networks and hamstring innovation in a sector where America leads the world.

Chairman Genachowski Sits Down for an Interview with CNET

March 24th, 2010 by George Krebs

“We need to focus on multiple strategies,” Chairman Genachowski told CNET’s Molly Wood, explaining the approach of the National Broadband Plan in an interview this week. The chairman expounded on the various routes the plan recommends to achieve greater affordability, higher speed broadband service, and to keep pace with other advanced nations. (Click on the image below to watch the video)

Both the chairman and Ms. Wood agreed that competition crucial. One of the ways we can foster competition is through greater consumer knowledge, Chairman Genachowski noted:
We can make sure consumers have the information they need to make the market work. And so an important initiative of the plan is a consumer transparency initiative where consumers will have access to much better information about the speeds that they’re getting, the nature of the services that they’re getting. Right now we hear endless reports about consumer confusion over broadband.
The interview also touched upon the foresight of The Plan in freeing mobile spectrum that will be in great demand a few short years from now. “Mobile broadband has extraordinary opportunity for our country. A smart phone uses almost thirty times the capacity of an old phone,” the chairman said. Our projections show that our mobile spectrum needs will grow thirty fold in a few short years. We need to release spectrum and “we have to tackle it now.”
Ultimately Chairman Genachowski strongly asserted that much of our society now relies on the Internet as its foundation. We need to regain our footing as the global pace setter. “We need to be the world’s leader in innovation in the twenty-first century,” he said. “We’re not going to be that if we stand still…We’re going to be at risk with our global leadership if our broadband infrastructure isn’t first class.”
What will The Broadband Plan mean for you? In the end Ms. Wood asks, What can the FCC, the White House and Congress do? Participate in the discussion either in her post or in our comments below.

In the News

March 15th, 2010 by George Krebs

A steady stream of media coverage has foreshadowed Tuesday’s release of The National Broadband Plan. We’ve compiled some of that coverage, including an op-ed penned by Chairman Genachowski, below:

From Chairman Genachowski’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post:
The Internet has transformed America with its power to generate innovation and opportunity and by its ability to connect, inform and entertain us like no technology in history.
…Our nation is at a high-tech crossroads: Either we commit to creating world-leading broadband networks to make sure that the next waves of innovation and business growth occur here, or we stand pat and watch inventions and jobs migrate to those parts of the world with better, faster and cheaper communications infrastructures.
This, of course, is not a choice -- which is why, this week, at the behest of Congress and the president, the Federal Communications Commission is delivering the first National Broadband Plan: a comprehensive strategy for dramatically improving our broadband networks and extending their benefits to all Americans.
If we adopt these and other good ideas, we can harness the power of a technology with the greatest potential to advance our economic and social welfare since the advent of electricity.
….History teaches us that nations that lead technological revolutions reap enormous rewards. We can lead the revolution in wired and wireless broadband. But the moment to act is now.
From the New York Times:
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network.
…The blueprint reflects the government’s view that broadband Internet is becoming the common medium of the United States, gradually displacing the telephone and broadcast television industries.
…For much of the last year, Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman and the plan’s chief salesman, has laid the groundwork for the Congressionally mandated plan by asserting that the United States is lagging far behind other countries in broadband adoption and speed. About a third of Americans have no access to high-speed Internet service, cannot afford it or choose not to have it.
In a speech last month, Mr. Genachowski observed that the country could build state-of-the-art computers and applications, but without equivalent broadband wiring, “it would be like having the technology for great electric cars, but terrible roads.”
The plan envisions a fully Web-connected world with split-second access to health care information and online classrooms, delivered through wireless devices yet to be dreamed up in Silicon Valley.
…In a move that could affect policy decisions years from now, the F.C.C. will begin assessing the speeds and costs of consumer broadband service. Until then, consumers can take matters into their own hands with a new suite of online and mobile phone applications released by the F.C.C. that will allow them to test the speed of their home Internet and see if they’re paying for data speeds as advertised.
From News Hour’s the.News
From Reuters:
U.S. regulators will announce a major Internet policy this week to revolutionize how Americans communicate and play, proposing a dramatic increase in broadband speeds that could let people download a high-definition film in minutes instead of hours.
Dramatically increasing Internet speeds to 25 times the current average is one of the myriad goals to be unveiled in the National Broadband Plan by the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday.
The highly anticipated plan will make a series of recommendations to Congress and is aimed at spurring the ever-changing communications industry to bring more and faster online services to Americans as they increasingly turn to the Internet to communicate, pay monthly bills, make travel plans and be entertained by movies and music.
…“We've developed a plan that is a real win-win for everyone involved and we have every expectation that it will work,” Genachowski said in an interview with Reuters. …“It is both aspiration and achievable.”
From the Boston Globe:
Fourteen years after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission will release a National Broadband Plan next week that seeks to foster the power of so-called broadband networks. This goal is admirable, because broadband is widely viewed as the economic lifeline of tomorrow, with the power to improve an array of financial and employment activity in health care, education, homeland security, job training, even energy independence.
… When it comes to the National Broadband Plan, the FCC has it right in one important regard. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first reform of the communications policy in over 60 years. Today, technology evolves at a much faster rate than policy. A new national agenda is needed to provide direction for Congress to enact laws that reflect today’s technology landscape. This necessary foundation for our economic future requires broadband access for all Americans.


Support for Broadband Plan Adoption Recommendations

March 10th, 2010 by George Krebs

Over 30 organizations, ranging from the Benton Foundation to the National Urban League, signed on to support our broadband adoption recommendations in a letter sent to Chairman Genachowski yesterday:
We are pleased to express our support for the working recommendations for broadband adoption and utilization announced today by the FCC as it prepares to deliver its National Broadband Plan to Congress next week.
We appreciate the intensive fact gathering and numerous public workshops conducted by the Commission as it sought to better understand the issues facing non-adopters of broadband. The Commission's field hearings and the extensive opportunity for comment through public notices and blogs have provided the American people with many opportunities to contribute to the Plan.
You have said that while broadband alone is not the solution to any of the major challenges facing our country, it is part of the solution to almost all of them. We agree. We also agree that in order to maximize the country's benefit from broadband, we must work to increase the level of broadband adoption, particularly among low-income populations, minority communities, older Americans, people with disabilities and other groups which have low rates of broadband adoption. The Commission's research, which helped frame the Plan's recommendations, has proven invaluable as it identified critical barriers to adoption that must be addressed: cost, digital literacy, and lack of awareness of relevant content.
The plan's adoption and utilization recommendations are targeted, collaborative, and local: a focus that is required to produce meaningful results. We are heartened that the FCC clearly understands that government alone cannot solve the nation's adoption gaps. The non-profit and foundation communities, state and local governments, and the private sector all have an interest in increased adoption, and all must play a constructive role.
Leaving one-third of America without broadband at home is not acceptable in an era when high-speed access is a pathway to education, self-improvement, civic participation, and economic growth. We look forward to working with the FCC and other stakeholders in bringing life to these recommendations.

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