FCC Chair: ‘We’re Not Where We Need to Be With Broadband’

Julius Genachowski says the government has put up barriers to broadband build-out

The nation's top internet regulator says that the government has made it too difficult to get broadband service to many Americans.

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, held a conference in Washington Wednesday to figure ways to remove barriers to broadband build-out.

He said the forum was meant to "review our rules, keeping the ones that make sense, and changing the ones that don't."

As more Americans watch video on the internet — either by downloading or by streaming it — broadband access is increasingly important.

The conference brought federal, state and local officials together with broadband providers, tower companies, equipment suppliers, utility companies and telecommunications carriers.

Genachowski said he has a three-pronged strategy to increase broadband access. He wants to provide more spectrum, which he called "the invisible infrastructure that sustains our wireless communications."

He said that "freeing spectrum for broadband has spurred massive mobile innovation and investment."

Second, he wants to transform the Universal Service Fund "to make sure we get the most bang for our USF buck."

Finally, he wants to remove barriers to broadband proliferation.

"We're not where we need to be with broadband," he said. "Too many Americans don't have broadband, and international rankings consistently show us lagging other countries in broadband speeds, adoption and utilization."