Tracking the National Broadband Plan -- Universal Service
March 16 marks the one year anniversary of the release of the National Broadband Plan, a multi-year strategy for increasing broadband deployment, adoption and meaningful use throughout the country. Over the last year, the Benton Foundation has been tracking the implementation of the plan and its over 200 recommendations .
At Benton, we believe the heart of the National Broadband Plan are the recommendations targeted at modernizing and streamlining the federal Universal Service Fund. Thirty-five recommendations -- approximately 16% of the plan's suggestions -- address this issue. Five of these recommendations (14%) have been completed in the past year. In September, the Federal Communications Commission's E-rate Order addressed upgrading broadband connectivity to schools and libraries. The bulk of the recommendations (22 or 63%) are in full swing at the FCC. Most notably, the FCC has recently launched proceedings to modernize and streamline its universal service and intercarrier compensation policies and modernize and drive tougher accountability measures into the Lifeline/Link Up program.
On Benton's National Broadband Plan Tracker you can follow the developments of each recommendation including the related dockets the FCC launches and public comments it receives, legislation introduced in Congress, and changes in Administration policy. The Tracker is powered by our Communications-related Headlines service -- a daily update on the world of telecommunications policy. The Tracker captures the links between today's Headlines and events, bills moving through Congress, dockets at the FCC, and the week's key events.
On this, day 361 of the National Broadband Plan, Benton invites you to take a look at how much work has gone into making the plan a reality. You can even grade the performance of the government bodies the Plan's recommendations were targeted to. Sure, the FCC has completed work on over 10% of the recommendations it made to itself, but how is Congress doing? (Hint: not nearly so well)