Austin’s forthcoming Google Fiber gigabit network is a crucial first step to restoring economic opportunities that other cities must follow. The key is partnering with private enterprise on a local level, rather than waiting for federal intervention.
After nearly four years as FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski is stepping down in “coming weeks”. President Obama will now get to appoint two new commission members in his second term.
The Democratic chairman is stepping down, according to the Wall Street Journal, just as a Republican commissioner is departing, preserving an administration-friendly majority on the commission.
The FCC wants to reallocate some of the TV spectrum to auction it off, and Congress is working on bills to facilitate that process. Local, low-power TV stations believe that they could be the casualty of the process, affecting cord cutters and ethnic minorities alike.
Want to improve the economy? Then demand better broadband. Policymakers at all levels of government need to watch municipal efforts such as those in Kansas City, Kan. with Google’s fiber network. That gigabit network could prove the link between broadband and economic development.
Chip Rosenthal headed the effort to bring Google’s gigabit fiber network to Austin. He says the Texas capital was on the short list of cities, but thinks Austin was passed over because of a state law banning municipal participation in broadband networks.
GigaOM and the New America Foundation are sponsoring a debate between Craig Settles, an author and broadband consultant, and Blair Levin, the author of the National Broadband Plan, on how America can meet the broadband needs of its citizens. Click through to watch.
When it comes to broadband, it’s the applications, not speed that matters, but by default, then we need to admit our national goal of 4 Mbps broadband probably isn’t fast enough to deliver the up and coming apps, and may doom the U.S. to inadequacy.
In response to a Congressional question on whether broadband is being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion to all Americans, the FCC today released its 706 report, saying that 14 – 25 million Americans have no access to broadband, now defined as four Mbps down.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski today defended to cable industry executives the agency’s plan’s to reclassify broadband, pitching the commission’s “Third Way” for regulation and attempting to assure the audience that the agency would continue to operate in good faith.