Originally published: March 17, 2011
Last updated: March 17, 2011 - 3:23pm
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation brought key former broadband plan authors together to discuss how the federal government is enacting the plan.
“The plan was not about creating the fastest network, it was about how to setup the most diverse, ubiquitous ecosystem,” said Blair Levin, former Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative, the team that developed the plan. While some national plans focus solely on network expansion and speed, “we wanted to figure out how to use broadband to expand education, improve healthcare and conserve energy,” Levin said.
Dr. Mohit Kaushal, former Director of Connected Health at the Federal Communications Commission, explained, “Current regulations and privacy make it difficult for innovators to create new applications to harness patient data or share information between doctors.” The healthcare reform act passed last year includes a number of Health IT provisions – the most prominent of which is the standardization of billing and electronic health records. Kaushal hopes this will create a new market using the data which customers will be able to access.
Former Energy and Environment Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative, Nick Sinai, echoed Kaushal’s sentiment on the sharing of data, saying, “if consumers could get their energy use and price data in a standardized format then innovators could create applications.”
Steve Midgley, Deputy Director of Education Technology at the Department of Education and former Director of Education at the FCC, praised the Commission’s quick update to the E-Rate Program, which provides funding for schools and libraries to pay for broadband. “Schools can now run digital literacy and training programs after hours,” Midgley said, “and they can access existing dark fiber networks.”
- FCC Broadband Strategy National Purpose Team
- The National Purposes in the National Broadband Plan One Year Later
- National Broadband Plan Workshop on Education (see summary)
- E-Rate Reform
- Digital Innovation Outpaces E-Rate Policies
- State E-rate Coordinators' Alliance Recommends Changes
- Broadband & the Future of E-Rate
- FCC to promote mobile health apps in broadband plan
- Education and the National Broadband Plan
- National Broadband Plan focuses on e-Rate, online learning
- Publish a timetable of proceedings to implement plan recommendations
- Wireless Industry Wants Bigger Piece of E-Rate Pie
- Make broadband-related expenses more cost-efficient within the E-rate program
- Technology, Learning and the National Broadband Plan
- Schools weigh in on national broadband plan