The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday began the process of developing a national broadband plan that will seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. The program was empowered by the Obama administration's $800 billion stimulus package (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).
In its Notice of Inquiry, the FCC will begin proceedings to create that national broadband plan, seeking input from consumers, industry, large and small businesses, non-profits, the disabilities community, governments at the federal, state, local and tribal levels, and all other interested parties. The FCC will address such issues as Internet openness, definitions of affordability and what speeds are fast enough.
The Commission must deliver the plan to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010.
The U.S. trails many industrialized countries in access and adoption of high-speed Internet.
"We are coming to grips with the fact that we have a long way to go to get high-speed value-laden broadband out to all citizens," acting FCC chief Michael Copps told a public meeting.