Federal Communications Commission

Archive for April 2010

Connecting America’s Stories: The Current State of the Broadband Ecosystem

April 30th, 2010 by Page Schindler Buchanan

When Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last February, it tasked the FCC with creating a plan to expand broadband access to Americans.  The first step was to ask Americans about the role of broadband Internet access in their daily lives – at home, at school, and at work.

Who had it, who didn’t?  Who used it, who didn’t?  How do they use it? And perhaps most importantly… Why?

This research showed clear themes, and a complex problem.  Some consumers lament an inability to afford service and lack of access in their community.  Others are confused by complicated offerings from service providers.  And many simply do not know how to use a computer or understand how the internet would be useful in their lives.


John Horrigan is the Director of Consumer Research.

I fielded a survey of 5000 Americans on their broadband usage patterns and looking at the reasons why people don’t have broadband…it goes into two big categories: cost and getting people trained and comfortable with using the internet. 

We found about a third of Americans did not have broadband at home, and the leading reasons were cost, digital literacy and a perceived lack of relevance to people about whether this gadget, this tool, the internet, is useful to them. 

Broadband Adoption by American Adults by Socio-Economic and Demographic Factors


At America's Digital Inclusion Summit on March 9, 2010, stories from everyday Americans illustrated how a lack of Internet access can exclude people from jobs, adequate education, family connections, and in no small way, deprive them of full ability to pursue the American dream in a knowledge-driven global economy.

One mother, Rhonda Locklear, a housing specialist with the Lumbee Tribe in Pembroke, North Carolina talked about the difficulties her family and tribe face due to a lack of access to affordable, reliable broadband service.

Like most families across the state who either don’t have access to high speed internet, or who can’t afford it, we were stuck with dial-up service in our home until two months ago.  I feel that this has put my family, my sons in particular, at a severe disadvantage.  …

Seemingly easy [school] assignments took him hours to complete.  Isaac got very upset, discouraged and frustrated because he could not do what he needed to do.  As a mother, it breaks my heart and causes me to feel that I have failed him in some way.

Peter Bowen, Applications Director, researched how people are using and experiencing the internet, at home, at work and through mobile devices.  In addition to finding out how people are using their broadband connections, his research led him to focus on ensuring transparency in the buying process for consumers.

Broadband is very confusing. You can imagine a day where you go online and you go to a consumer-reports-type website… and there’s literally:  ‘Here are the five services you can get in your area, by all the different providers that are there, the prices they’re offering’…. some service providers are going to be better at certain things than others. 

What we really need to do is help consumers understand the differences in broadband, and then help promote competition by allowing them to look at it… and make an informed choice and sign up for something feeling good about it.

Advertised Versus Actual U.S. Fixed Broadband Residential Download Speeds (Mbps)


The landscape is changing quickly.  Every day, new mobile devices and online applications are being developed that affect how Americans will use, and need, broadband.  Last week the FCC released an Action Agenda for the recommendations in the National Broadband Plan. On this blog we’ll continue to track our progress, and invite readers to join us in the conversation.

Click here to learn more about the state of the broadband ecosystem.

Don't Forget: May 6 Workshop on Broadband Availability Gap Technical Paper

April 30th, 2010 by Mark Wigfield - Spokesman, Omnibus Broadband Initiative.

Don’t forget that about the workshop on Thursday in which FCC staff will take a look under the hood of the economic model used in the National Broadband Plan to develop an estimate of the gap between the cost of deploying broadband services to the 14 million or more Americans living in unserved areas and the potential additional revenue generated from the broadband investment. Deployment Director Rob Curtis blogged about the technical paper that describes in detail how the $24 billion estimate was derived.  Rob and others will be on hand to answer your questions about the model and the technical paper.  The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, 2010, 3:00 p.m. EDT in the FCC Commission Room at 445 12th St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20554.  Or you can watch it online at

The Fourth Challenge

April 30th, 2010 by Mark Wigfield - Spokesman, Omnibus Broadband Initiative.

Omnibus Broadband Initiative Executive Director Blair Levin prepared this speech today for delivery at a forum at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University.

It’s getting to be graduation time, both for the class of 2010 and for those of us who spent the last year working on the National Broadband Plan.

So this speech is kind of a valedictory address, a capstone that implores policymakers today—that’s us—and in the future—that’s you—to confront the most critical challenge to our national broadband future.

Before I discuss that challenge, I want to thank all of you for hosting me here today. 

Thanks in particular to Greg Rossten for that kind introduction.

Last June, I rejoined the FCC to assist in writing the National Broadband Plan.

Already, one-third of the time Congress had allotted to write the Plan had passed. There was no staff dedicated to its completion and it had no clear budget.

[Read the full speech here.]

FCC Calls on Government Officials to Help Create Technical Framework for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network

April 29th, 2010 by Jennifer Manner - Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

On April 23, 2010, the FCC established the Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) within the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, whose mission is to promote the interoperability and operability of public safety broadband communications in the 700 MHz band. While ultimately we plan to create a widely-inclusive Public Safety Advisory Committee to work with ERIC, until that can be established, we are seeking nominations for an interim Technical Advisory Committee that will immediately assist ERIC with establishing technical issues surrounding interoperability for the nationwide public safety broadband network.

It is essential that we begin this process to ensure that we are able to set the technical framework for buildout of the network that is in-line with the buildout of commercial networks using 4G technologies so that we don't miss the technological wave that will eventually revolutionize wireless broadband services in America.  The time is now to get this moving in the interest of public safety's needs long-term and those who serve on this interim committee would be providing a commendable and worthwhile service on behalf of the American public. In the end, the Committee will serve a vital role in helping us on the path forward with the creation of a nationwide interoperable wireless public safety broadband network for America's first responders, hospitals and other public safety officials.

The Committee will be comprised of Federal government officials or employees and elected officers of State, local or tribal governments (or designated employees authorized to act on their behalf) are eligible for membership on the Committee. What better way to have input on such an important initiative and one that we hope will address the 9/11 interoperable communications crisis now facing police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and hospitals across this nation? It is the input from these dedicated public safety officials that is going to help make all the difference in ensuring that this network is truly interoperable and nationwide -- one that benefits first responders from Maine, to West Virginia, on to Texas, Montana and California.

We are seeking members of the Committee with the following experience:

  • Knowledge of 4G wireless standards and practical industry implementation of these standards;
  • Working experience in technical management and operations of public safety mission critical communications and networks;


  • Working experience with RF/wireless technologies;
  • Working experience with public safety applications and standards (such as P25) and existing public safety vendor products and systems;


  • Knowledge of interoperability and spectrum management;
  • Knowledge of existing commercial wireless systems;
  • Knowledge of functionality, wireless market products and implementation of encryption, authentication, roaming and priority access; and


  • Experience with capacity planning and RF network design, implementation and optimization.

If you are interested, please send:
(a) the name of the applicant or nominee and a statement of his or her eligibility to participate on the Committee;
(b) the applicant's or nominee's mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number; and
(c) a statement of the applicant’s or nominee’s qualifications for membership on the Committee.
by mail to Brian Hurley, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St., SW, Washington, D.C., 20554, or by email to All nominations must be submitted by May 19, 2010. The FCC will select members after we receive the nominations.

We are looking forward to hearing from you. Working together, we can achieve this important public safety goal.

Spectrum Task Force Poised to Drive the Implementation of the National Broadband Plan’s Spectrum Agenda

April 26th, 2010 by Julius Knapp - Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology

 By Julius Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, and Ruth Milkman, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Last month, the Commission unveiled goals for its part in a more efficient, effective and creative America - one where our entire broadband ecosystem of networks, devices, content and applications is resilient and flourishing.  Spectrum access, innovation and deployment play such a fundamental role in how we get there.

The promise of mobile broadband hinges on the availability of spectrum.  And the growing demand for spectrum is not simply a matter of making sure we meet the communications needs of the some 275 million cell phone users in the United States.  It’s about innovative devices like smart phones and wireless tablets that put the world’s wealth of information right at our fingertips.  It’s about new apps that keep us connected with our family and friends and enrich our lives.  It’s about improving our energy efficiency through the Smart Grid.  It’s about improving our health and reducing costs through new age wireless mobile medical devices that allow a patient’s heart rate to be monitored continuously and gives diabetics real-time glucose monitoring and insulin delivery.  It’s about our future.

The breadth of innovative spectrum-based applications and services that can improve the quality of life for Americans and U.S. Global competitiveness is remarkable and we have only just begun to tap into the boundless power of our imaginations.  So it’s not surprising that the National Broadband Plan (NBP) recognizes spectrum policy as the most important government tool to promote wireless and mobile broadband. 

Chairman Genachowski has asked us to chair a Spectrum Task Force, composed of the leaders of the offices and bureaus that deal with spectrum: the Enforcement, International, Media and Public Safety Bureaus, and the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, along with the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.  Job #1 for the Spectrum Task Force is to drive the implementation of the spectrum recommendations in the NBP. 

We’ve already received some great feedback about the BETA launch of the Spectrum Dashboard, and we’ll be making changes on a rolling basis.  So keep that feedback coming, and we’ll keep you posted on our progress in implementing the other recommendations of the NBP.

For more information on the upcoming work of the Spectrum Task Force, be sure to check out

Bringing Nationwide Interoperable Communications to America's First Responders

April 23rd, 2010 by Jennifer Manner - Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

One of the most pressing recommendations of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan is the proposed creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband wireless network (“public safety broadband network”) for first responders and other public safety personnel.   One major strategy for developing this ambitious and critically overdue component of our emergency communications infrastructure is establishing the rational basis for public funding to ensure the network is deployed throughout the United States and has necessary performance, capacity, coverage, resiliency and redundancy.

This broader strategy lays out a strong roadmap towards achieving the public safety network. Today, FCC staff issued a white paper that explains the comprehensive analysis and sets forth how public safety agencies can leverage the deployment of 4G commercial wireless networks to greatly reduce the overall costs of constructing their nationwide broadband network.  The paper also provides a basis for public funding of the construction, operating and evolution costs of the public safety broadband network. It illustrates the network’s affordability for the nation to build and for public safety to operate with technology that works today and provides for future technological advances.  

In this analysis, we considered the complexity and scope of constructing a nationwide stand-alone public safety network, in which 80% of the 44,800 sites would be new builds. We quickly concluded that the price tag for this new, stand-alone network would be cost prohibitive and the sticker shock could potentially thwart investment into the development of this critical infrastructure. We developed an alternative, more cost-effective solution that sacrifices nothing in terms of meeting the unique requirements of public safety, but also simply makes good fiscal sense.

Through the proposed incentive-based partnership approach, our cost model found that approximately $6.5 billion in construction funding will be required over a 10-year period to provide this service to agencies that collectively serve 99% of all Americans compared to $15.7 billion in construction cost for a stand-alone public safety network. That’s over $9 billion in savings in a time where every dollar counts. This savings is largely found in building upon the billions that have already been invested or are being invested by commercial service providers, leveraging existing infrastructure and economies of scale. Examples of the types of economies gained include adding a new radio access network for public safety to an existing tower or site, which already has backhaul to a functioning core network, and zoning and site acquisition instead of building entirely new towers for a stand-alone public safety network.

For operational expenses, the NBP suggests a public funding method, such as imposing a minimal public safety fee on all broadband users to fund the network’s ongoing costs, and appropriate network improvement costs. Once the network development matures, the cost of funding network operations is approximately $1.3 billion per year by the 10th year of construction. By leveraging what is already being built the cost per cell site is dramatically reduced in both construction expenses and operating expenses. Conservatively, the stand-alone network would require at least 2.5 times higher construction costs, excluding deployable equipment, and proportionally even more in ongoing costs based on Sprint-Nextel and Verizon Wireless annual reports for 2009 that found operating expenses are approximately twice construction expenses.

We have preserved many options for public safety agencies to design and pursue their own public safety broadband networks, but the cost model is predicated on the most cost-effective approach, which is this incentive-based partnership approach.  If public safety agencies decide to use another approach, it may cost more.  This incentive-based funding approach is just another example found in the National Broadband Plan that you can be both innovative and pragmatic; invest in what is necessary without breaking the bank.

It is important to note that this is the only comprehensive cost model that has been put forward for a nationwide, interoperable network, one that has been accomplished with a great deal of rigor.  The nation should be cautious about pursuing any other concept that has not been subjected to the same rigor.  We can all agree that there is no greater investment than in the safety of the American people, and this is the time for investment in a public safety broadband network.

A Giant Leap and A Big Deal

April 23rd, 2010 by Elizabeth Lyle - Special Counsel for Innovation, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

Today, the Commission is releasing “A Giant Leap and a Big Deal:  Delivering on the Promise of Equal Access to Broadband for People with Disabilities.”  It is the second paper in a series of working papers that are being released in conjunction with the National Broadband Plan. And it is the first time the Commission has issued a working paper addressing accessibility and technology issues.
The “giant leap” is a reference to Marlee Matlin’s testimony at the Gallaudet Field Hearing on November 6:

It seems that all the hard work that we did 20 years ago has virtually disappeared when it comes to updating access standards for broadband and the Internet.  Imagine Neil Armstrong watching a re-broadcast 20 years later, in 1989, of his first steps on the moon, only to find his words which echoed across the globe, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were no longer there – erased, as if he had never been to the moon. That’s how taking closed captions out of broadcast content now being shown on the Internet feels to millions of people like myself.

The “big deal” is a reference to comments on of sandraleesmith46, who was quoted by the Chairman at the Silicon Flatirons event on March 10:

[I am] a disabled citizen on a very tight budget . . . I have this computer as a gift from my sister, and I currently have wireless Internet access as part of my rent at the RV park where I live. . . I have difficulty getting out and doing many things physically, and to shop, bank, and the like.  . . Before going on line, I rarely socialized because the physical effort to get there, to do so, was just too great.  With the Internet, I can do so with little energy output, and enjoy doing so. Believe it or not, that is a big deal.

In between these bookends, the paper provides an analysis of and a context for the National Broadband Plan’s accessibility recommendations.  Relying on extensive feedback from the public, it discusses the barriers and opportunities in much greater detail.  It discusses the role of industry innovation and the importance of building on ongoing efforts in the public and private sectors.  

The paper also identifies gaps that must be addressed if we are going to accelerate the adoption of broadband by people with disabilities.  We need to improve implementation and enforcement of existing accessibility laws.  We must gather and analyze more information and coordinate accessibility policy and spending priorities.  We need to update regulations and subsidy programs.  We also must update our approach to accessibility problem solving and tap new sources of information and innovation and use the tools of new media and open government to promote collaborative problem solving.

The paper discusses how the recommendations in the National Broadband Plan will help address these needs.  The paper discusses in more detail the creation of a Broadband Accessibility Working Group in the Executive Branch; the establishment of an Accessibility and Innovation Forum; and the modernization of accessibility laws, rules, and related subsidy programs by the FCC; the Department of Justice, and Congress.

And now we are all rolling up our sleeves to make the National Broadband Plan’s blueprint for accessibility a reality.  

Joel Gurin and Karen Peltz Strauss are leading the charge from CGB and will be working with other bureaus to initiate several proceedings over the next few months.  I’m also happy that I will be working with them and others throughout the Commission to set up the Accessibility and Innovation Forum.  We will need your help to make these efforts a success and will be working closely with all stakeholders.

As the working paper concludes, delivering on the promise of equal access to the broadband infrastructure will be one of the “giant leaps” of our generation ... and we must show that we do believe that this is a big deal, for people with disabilities and for all Americans.

Private Investment and the National Broadband Plan

April 23rd, 2010 by Mark Wigfield - Spokesman, Omnibus Broadband Initiative.

Omnibus Broadband Initiative Executive Director Blair Levin gave this speech Wednesday at the Congressional Internet Caucus’ State of the Mobile Internet Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Over the last 9 months, I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful team who dedicated every day to trying to figure out how America could have the healthiest broadband ecosystem in the world.

Our answer is complex, filling more than 300 pages of Plan and hundreds more of post-Plan technical papers.

But one consistent theme is that the health of that ecosystem depends heavily—in fact, primarily—on private investment.

Today I want to discuss how we thought about private investment–in particular, the relationship between private investment and the mobile Internet.

If we get the implementation of the mobile piece of the Plan right, we can precipitate a massive private investment boom and build a world-leading broadband ecosystem.... "

[Read the full speech here.]

Hitting the Ground Running on the National Broadband Plan

April 21st, 2010 by Julius Genachowski - Chairman, Federal Communications Commission.

Almost two weeks ago, the Commission reached a major milestone in moving from planning to action on the National Broadband Plan. On April 8, we released the 2010 Broadband Action Agenda that sets out the timing and purpose of more than 60 concrete Commission proceedings and actions to take place over the next year.

This action agenda is unprecedented in ambition and transparency. And that fits the importance of the Plan’s goals of:
  • Ensuring that the U.S. has a broadband communications infrastructure that enables us to compete globally and remain the world leader in innovation in the 21st century;
  • Ensuring that every American benefits from the economic promise and social opportunity that broadband affords;
  • Ensuring that consumers are protected and empowered, and competition promoted in broadband communications; and
  • Ensuring that, in a world of broadband communications networks, our public safety and homeland security is protected.
Broadband communications is an essential element of job creation and economic growth, and can play a critical role in addressing so many of our major national challenges, from education to health care, energy to public safety.
That’s why we have laid out an aggressive roadmap for executing on key recommendations of the National Broadband Plan.
At today’s monthly Commission meeting, we are initiating six major proceedings across four Bureaus that enable us to move forward on the hard work of implementing the Plan. Specifically:
  • We begin the process of initiating a once-in-a-generation transformation of the Universal Service Fund, in order to connect all Americans to broadband, including Americans who live and work in rural areas. 
  • We also launch two proceedings to lay out a new foundation for fulfilling Congress’s mandate to ensure a competitive marketplace for video navigation devices.
  • In the area of mobile, we revise our voice roaming rules to improve the ability of American consumers to receive voice service whenever and wherever they travel, while also encouraging carriers of all sizes to invest, innovate, and deploy new networks. We also seek comment on a framework for achieving the same goals with respect to mobile broadband services -- perhaps the most exciting and dynamic sector of the communications landscape.
  • And for the safety of all Americans, we launch a proceeding to ensure the survivability of broadband communications infrastructure to protect against terrorist attacks, natural disasters, pandemics, or other major public emergencies. We also consider a voluntary cyber security certification program to help protect our country’s critical communications infrastructure against a new and serious threat.
This is fast action, and of course it’s not our first action. Even before the release of the Plan, we began acting on concrete ideas to address broadband availability, affordability, and adoption for Americans, by:
  • Adopting an order to cut through red tape on tower siting to accelerate mobile broadband build-out;
  • Taking action to increase flexibility of schools receiving E-Rate funding to serve their communities with broadband access; and
  • Enabling build-out of critical healthcare networks by announcing funding commitments and giving participants in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program the additional time needed to select vendors and request commitments.
Since the release of the Plan, we also approved a transaction involving MSS spectrum that opens the door for creation of a new mobile broadband network, billions of dollars of new investment, and thousands of new American jobs. 
As an initial step towards making available 500 megahertz of spectrum for broadband use within 10 years with 300 megahertz for mobile broadband within 5 years, we issued a Public Notice announcing draft rules for WCS-SDARS and inviting public comment. 
In order to improve transparency, information, and competition in the broadband ecosystem, we launched the Consumer Survey and the Small- and Medium-Sized Business Survey to begin to collect better data than is currently available on broadband adoption, usage, attitudes, and needs by consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses.
We also launched a suite of new media tools to improve transparency to the American public, for example by allowing consumers to test the speeds of fixed and mobile broadband connections and to view how spectrum is used via the Commission’s Spectrum Dashboard
I’m also pleased that other agencies and parts of government have begun energetic processes to implement key recommendations of the Plan. I understand they are putting together their own implementation plans arising out of the National Broadband Plan.  
And the broadband team has helped to drive the launch of several important public-private partnerships that will help bring broadband and broadband training to several communities at risk of being left behind: seniors, small businesses, low-income households, and community institutions like schools and clinics. These include initiatives such as:
  • Project GOAL that promotes adoption of broadband services by older adults;
  • The Small Business Coalition that provides digital literacy and training tools to small businesses;
  • “Apps for Inclusion” to develop mobile and online applications that have a social purpose;
  • Digital Adoption Coalition, made up of industry leaders in cable, telecommunications, software, hardware, and other technology players working together with the nonprofit sector to invest in making discounted equipment, service, and training available to lower income urban and rural areas; and
  • A consortium of leading deployment and infrastructure technology companies looking to upgrade institutional connectivity to 40,000 community anchor institutions.
Like the professional process conducted by the broadband team and Commission leading up to the Plan, the processes for our implementation of the Plan will be characterized by transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability. To enable the public to monitor our activities and progress, we have put up a tracking tool on the website.
I believe it is vitally important that the Commission move forward, as it is doing today, to act on the broadband plan’s roadmap to protect America’s global competitiveness and public safety, and help deliver the extraordinary benefits of broadband communications to all Americans. 
Working to make sure that America has world-leading high-speed broadband networks lies at the very core of the FCC’s mission in the 21st century. I believe this essential mission is completely consistent with the Communications Act and I am confident that the Commission has the authority to implement the broadband plan. 
As we evaluate the recent Comcast decision, I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that our actions are rooted in a sound legal foundation, designed to foster investment and innovation, promote competition, and protect and empower consumers.
The magnitude and importance of this agenda, and the workload it creates, require a disciplined management process. The FCC staff have all exemplified the kind of strength and leadership we need to accomplish this vital work together for the country. We stand ready to support their work, and the country appreciates their efforts.


Live Blogging the April Open Commission Meeting

April 21st, 2010 by George Krebs

10:30am ET 

Today we put the plan into action. After months of envisioning an effective national broadband network, this is the exciting stuff we’ve been waiting for. Today we begin a long but fast-paced process to implement policy. The baton has been passed from the Broadband Team to the FCC’s Offices and Bureaus to put the plan to work. In presenting the final document, and in his last appearance before the commission, Broadband Team Executive Director Blair Levin told the commissioners, “The value of this plan should be judged by what comes of it. You have a Plan. Now is your time to act.”
Today we will present six items for the chairman and the commissioners to consider. These items range from planting the seeds for the Connect America Fund to efforts to bolster cyber security.
For background on today’s items visit our April Open Meetings page.
10:44am ET
“A full agenda,” Genachoswki says after Secretary Marlene Dortch announces the items to be considered. The chairman runs down a lengthy list of reforms the FCC has already put into place. Like the Broadband Plan that came before it, “the processes for implementing the plan will be characterized by transparency, inclusivity, and openness.”
11:04am ET
Item One - Connect America Fund: Tackling long awaited Universal Service reform
First up, Carol Mattey from the Wireline Competition Bureau introduces the Connect America Fund. She tells the story of a child she met who had trouble completing her homework without the Internet access available to other students. The Connect American Fund would directly support broadband without increasing the cost of the existing Universal Service Fund. The proposed Notice of Inquiry considers replacing the “legacy high cost program” with “efficient, targeted funding of networks that can provide data and voice service.”
Commissioners are overwhelmingly supportive. The item is voted for approval across the board. Reservations expressed arise from their recognition that this is a herculean undertaking. There’s a reason it has taken such a long time to enact reform. The Chairman sums up the sentiment of the bench saying, “[reforming Universal Service is a] multi-layered, complex, rubik’s cube of a project. It will not be easy. But it is also what we’re committed to do…There’s no dispute that we need to do this. It’s a big challenge.”
11:23am ET
Item Two – Roaming for mobile
Mobile data roaming is crucial these days. Consumers purchase phones for more than voice service. The Commission looks to adopt an automatic data roaming requirement. Again, the chairman and the commissioners come to a consensus and unanimously vote to adopt the item.
11:57am ET
Items three and four – Video devices
The Media Bureau’s Notice of Inquiry urges the Commission to develop an interface standard for all video services. This standard will encourage four goals:
  • Spur investment and innovation
  • Increase consumer choice
  • Allow unfettered innovation in multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) delivery platforms
  • Encourage wider broadband use and adoption (televisions are the most widely present screens in the home)
The second prong of the presentation seeks to fix the problems with the CableCARD regime in the interim before a successor takes it place. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would achieve this through ensuring that these devices have equal access to programming, transparency in billing, and other mechanisms.
Commissioners and Chairman are, again, in agreement of the pressing need in this arena. The results of video services and CableCARD have been, in Commissioner McDowell’s words, “disappointing.” Both segments are adopted unanimously in the vote.
12:12pm ET
Item five – Survivability features of broadband
Moving to the public safety realm, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau urges the Commission to consider “A Notice of Inquiry that examines the survivability of broadband infrastructure and seeks comment on the ability of existing broadband networks to withstand significant damage or severe overloads as a result of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemics or other major public emergencies.” More broadly the bureau asks what the FCC can do to improve the resiliency of broadband networks during times of crises.
The importance of this examination cannot be overstated. Not surprisingly, the chairman and the commissioners lavish wide spread praise for the proposal. “This item and the next item are last today,” the chairman says, “but they’re certainly not least…This is very important work that you are engaged in, that our commission is engaged in.”
12:30pm ET
Item six – Cyber Security Certification Program
Remaining at the table, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett begins, “At the same time that we’re seeing increasing dependence on these networks, communications providers are seeing increasing threats.” The Broadband Plan recommended the commission create a voluntary cyber security certification program. This Notice of Inquiry will look into establishing such a program. The proposed program will provide consumers more complete information about their providers’ cyber security apparatus. The presenters note that 87% of cyber security breaches could have been avoided if necessary cyber security measures were in place.
Commissioner Copps initiates comment from the bench. He, along with the others, sides with brevity. “The importance of these two items speaks for itself.” Chairman Genachowski summarizes, “Our broadband communications networks are becoming more essential in the lives of every American.” At the same time, the vulnerabilities are more alarming than ever before. These are items we need to move on forcefully. All those on the bench vote in favor of the Notice (constituting a trend on the day).
The meeting is adjourned.

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.
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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