FCC Approves Broadband Plan; Hollywood Applauds

Over concerns about privacy and piracy, reaction to unanimous FCC approval of plan structure is positive

Last Updated: March 16, 2010 @ 2:39 PM

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved an outline for a national broadband plan, though several commissioners cautioned that there could be fights ahead on implementing some elements.

Meanwhile the FCC’s plan, unveiled Monday, drew immediate praise both from the Motion Picture Association of America and a group of TV and film creatives (note the repeated references to privacy/piracy issues, however):

A sampling:

_ Motion Picture Association of America President and Interim CEO Bob Pisano: “We applaud the FCC for issuing a plan designed to connect all Americans to high-speed Internet, while recognizing that copyrighted content must be protected online if broadband is to thrive as an engine of growth and innovation for the 21st Century.”

_ Jonathan Rintels, executive director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media, which represents creatives: “The FCC gets a standing ovation from independent media artists for its visionary National Broadband Plan. The economic, social, and cultural benefits of this critical 21st century investment in networking all our nation’s communities together via the Internet will vastly outweigh its cost."

_ Warner Bros. Chairman & CEO Barry M. Meyer: “We commend the Chairman for his bold vision to spur investment and innovation in the nation’s broadband networks. … As the plan recognizes, respect for intellectual property online will foster the development of creative new ways for consumers to enjoy digitally distributed entertainment.”

FCC commissioners Meredith Atwell Baker and Robert McDowell both expressed concerns that the plan anticipates the government becoming too involved in making decisions best left to private industry, and the potential for the FCC to impose new net neutrality regulations. Along with Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn, they expressed doubts about the plan’s call for getting some additional internet spectrum by taking it from TV stations.