Originally published: January 28, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:33am
Free Press filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission outlining policies that are most critical to the success of the congressionally mandated national broadband plan to bring high-speed Internet to all Americans. In the comments, Free Press emphasizes the importance of both practical policy recommendations and benchmarks and aspirational goals in planning the country's Internet future.
- Encourage broadband adoption through policies to increase competition: The plan should focus on competition in order to spur the deployment of high-capacity networks and drive down consumer costs to expand access for all Americans.
- Enact Universal Service Fund reform: The "High Cost Fund" that currently supports basic telephone service must be reformed to support the construction of broadband networks to promote universal deployment. The fund should only provide ongoing subsidies for telephone service as truly needed, and the commission should aim to reduce the size of the fund dramatically over time.
- Treat broadband as essential infrastructure: The plan must account for the critical information needs of people and communities. Libraries, schools and other essential institutions must have access to low-cost robust broadband.
- Maximize the public utility of spectrum: Adopt "use it or lose it" spectrum rules to limit waste and open new portions of public spectrum to unleash innovation and improve the wireless broadband market.
- Undertake set top box reform: The FCC must move decisively to prevent cable companies from acting as gatekeepers in the set top box market.
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