FCC offers early peak at national broadband plan

Dec 16, 2009

(AP) -- Expanding the fund that subsidizes telephone service for poor and rural communities and finding more spectrum for wireless broadband services will be key pieces of a federal plan to bring high-speed Internet connections to all Americans.

Those were among the preliminary recommendations that the Federal Communications Commission outlined Wednesday in a report on its national broadband plan. The plan, which was mandated by the stimulus bill, is due in February.

One proposal would use money from the Universal Service Fund to build broadband networks in underserved communities and pay for high-speed Internet connections for those who cannot afford them. The Universal Service Fund, which is supported by a surcharge on phone bills, was established to subsidize phone service.

Another proposal would explore ways to make more wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband services, including the potential reallocation of some spectrum held by television broadcasters and federal agencies.

The FCC is also seeking ways to promote greater use of unlicensed frequencies, such as "white spaces" between TV stations, and development of new technologies that can make more efficient use of spectrum.

Still another proposal would seek ways to create a new market for television set-top boxes that would be able to work with any video TV service and would integrate online content and applications. The FCC wants to ensure that consumers would be able to buy these new boxes at electronics stores, rather than rent them from a cable operator or other video provider.

Blair Levin, the FCC official in charge of developing the broadband plan, said the plan would focus on encouraging competition and leveraging private-sector investments.

Although the agency will not deliver a final set of recommendations to Congress until February, at least one public interest group, Public Knowledge, is already complaining that the plan does not do enough to bring new competition to the broadband market, which is dominated by the nation's big phone and cable companies.

Explore further: Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FCC gets going on national broadband plan

Apr 08, 2009

(AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission took the first step Wednesday in developing a comprehensive plan to give all Americans high-speed Internet access.

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

2 hours ago

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...