FCC Issues Broadband Plan Framework

December 16, 2009
WASHINGTON: The FCC this morning laid out options for creating a national broadband plan, as derived from a report by the agency’s broadband task force. The commission has 63 days before it must deliver its final strategy to Congress.

“Finding ways to better use existing assets, including Universal Service, rights-of-way, spectrum and others, will be essential to the success of the plan. The limited government funding that is available for broadband would be best used when leveraged with private sector investment,” the FCC said in a summary of the report.

Listed under the category of “Spectrum Options,” the FCC noted that “demand for wireless broadband will exceed the supply of spectrum in the not-too-distant future. A large, new spectrum allocation is essential to improving broadband competition.”

The FCC did not say exactly how much spectrum would be needed for the program. It mentioned resolving pending wireless proceedings that involve spectrum use, considering reallocation of the TV spectrum, “preserving spectrum for unlicensed devices,” using airwaves more efficiently, and “applying market forces to all bands while taking into consideration other policy objectives.”

The commission’s outline also touched on improved set-top boxes, the Universal Service Fund, and possibly power lines for broadband provision.

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