Thursday, December 17, 2009

FCC wants to guarantee every home broadband, use other rural telephone resources if necessary

The Federal Communications Commission says it is dead serious about the aim of making high speed broadband utility available to every household in the United States, no matter how rural or poor. The Washington Post story Thursday Dec. 17 is “FCC issues proposals to met national broadband plan”, link here.

One proposal is to use money from the Universal Service Fund, normally used now to subsidize rural phone service, an idea that sounds like playing Robin Hood to some. The agency is also considering jawboning cable operators into supplying everyone with set-top devices (similar to stripped-down PC’s, usually running on proprietary, Linux-like operating systems) to integrate cable and video services. Of course, there would have to be attention to security for these devices.

Gigi Sohn, director of Public Knowledge, has suggested that smaller telecomm companies should have access to lines owned by bigger companies.

Public Knowledge has a page on Network Neutrality, here. The page includes a quote of a Network Neutrality provision required of AT&T by the FCC when AT&T bought back Bell South at the end of 2006.

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