Originally published: January 7, 2010
Last updated: January 7, 2010 - 5:10pm
[Commentary] In the last few days, we have a promise from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski that the National Broadband Plan will be "bold." The National Broadband Plan requires a bold stroke. It requires more than a narrow view of "the art of the possible." It is not possible to grow corn, for example, simply by looking at a plot of land. Put some seeds in and some water, and the "art of the possible" changes.
Now that the FCC has requested some more time from Congress to submit its plan, it can work on redefining what it considers to be "possible," choosing from a couple of scenarios. Nothing illustrates the choice between a safe, incremental plan that will do some modest good and a bold stroke that could genuinely take this country back to digital leadership than two studies prepared for the FCC.
The plans being discussed so far deal with the already-accepted idea of converting universal service to support broadband, and rights-of-way issues, concentrating on affordability and utilization, along with fixing up set top boxes, and finding more spectrum to meet increasing demand. These are good things, and safe things, but not bold things.
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