12.16.2009 03:00 PM
FCC Issues Broadband Plan Framework
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
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.