FCC Bends to Telecoms on Broadband Internet Development

Saturday, December 31, 2011
As telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick sees it, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is catering to the demands of companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.
“There has been a series of recent events in telecom, broadband, Internet–cable, wireline and wireless–where the outcomes are going to harm customers and the economy,” writes Kushnick. “Worse, the FCC’s National Broadband Plan looks to be a big disappointment, and that’s the good news.”
One major problem is the FCC is allowing companies to wait until 2020 to provide at least 100 million U.S. homes with affordable access to high-speed downloads (minimum 100 Mbps). The National Broadband Plan published by the Obama administration in 2010 proposes that “100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 50 Mbps by 2020.” Such speeds are already readily available in several other countries, but in the U.S. only 48,000 customers have access to these speeds. The United States ranks only 18th worldwide in average Internet speed.
Kushnick is also unhappy that the government is allowing Verizon and AT&T to slack off on upgrading their advanced TV networks—while at the same time doing little to keep these telecommunication giants from buying up other businesses, which in turn hurts competition and fails to reduce consumer prices.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
The Outlook for the FCC and Broadband: Not Good (by Bruce Kushnick, Nieman Watchdog)
Obama vs. Obama over Rural Broadband Internet (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Rural Broadband Plan Detours to the Suburbs (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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