The FCC went live with the beta of a Web site for national broadband policy called broadband.gov and published a roadmap for developing the policy.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said of the development of a National Broadband Policy, “I cannot imagine a more important set of tasks for this agency at this moment in history.”
In a possible indication of where the newly reconstituted FCC might be heading, Genachowski, according to his prepared remarks, said: “The sad reality is that we are slipping behind as a nation when it comes to broadband. Homes and businesses in many other countries have faster connections for lower prices.”
The broadband.gov Web site is meant to be a forum for information about broadband policy as it develops, and a means of discussing elements of the plan. It includes sections about FCC-sponsored workshops, news about the plan, and basic information about broadband and the legislation that mandates a national broadband plan.
Genachowski went on to say: “If we do our job right, we can accelerate economic growth, create jobs and ensure that we have a sustainable economic engine in the U.S. We can unlock the power of spectrum to make America a world leader in mobile services and technologies. We can connect small businesses so that they can compete everywhere, improve educational opportunities, help deliver better health care and cleaner energy at lower cost, and extend the benefits of the broadband revolution to our police and firefighters who depend upon communications for protecting their own safety, and ours.”
He listed instances of the value of broadband, including communications, commerce, distance learning and telemedicine.
FCC commissioner Michael Copps, meanwhile, said: “No one should think that we’re putting all this emphasis on broadband for the sake of broadband. Broadband is about something else. It is the great enabler. That’s what infrastructure is always about. Without infrastructure, nothing moves – shipments of agriculture, wheels of commerce, or the information society of the twenty-first century,” Copps said, according to the text of his speech.
Copps continued: “There are no solutions to the colossal challenges we face as a nation and seek to overcome – energy dependence, environmental degradation, educational shortfalls, job losses, inadequate health care delivery for so many, even our damaged civic dialogue – there is no solution to any of these that does not contain a critical broadband component within it. Enable broadband and you enable America.”