The FCC is on the hook to develop a national broadband policy and deliver it to Congress by February 2010. Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps has said the mandate may well be the biggest project the FCC has ever undertaken.
Indeed, it will be a complex process, with strong opinions from very diverse interests, many of whom with diametrically opposed positions. We don’t envy the FCC. The first comments in reply to the FCC National Broadband Plan Notice of Inquiry were due on Monday June 8, 2009. As of today, 212 comments were submitted. Reply comments are due on July 17, 2009. This process is not be confused with the recently released FCC Rural Broadband Strategy Report. Many of the details of for Rural Broadband strategy have been tabled and will be addressed in this more comprehensive national broadband policy initiative.
As expected, the comments come from a very diverse crowd. The usual suspects of tech heavyweights and telecom trade groups are in the mix. But so too are interests like the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and even the Government of Japan. There will be much to sift through.