FCC Adopts Joint Statement on Broadband

[Source: Benton Foundation; March 16, 2010]

After unveiling the National Broadband Plan, Federal Communications Commission members approved - by a 5-0 vote - a Joint Statement on Broadband which expresses the six beliefs the commissioners share:

  1. Every American should have a meaningful opportunity to benefit from the broadband communications era - regardless of geography, race, economic status, disability, residence on tribal land or degree of digital literacy.
  2. Continuous private sector investment in wired and wireless networks and technologies, and competition among providers, are critical to ensure vitality and innovation in the broadband ecosystem and to encourage new products and services that benefit American consumers and businesses of every size.
  3. Strategic and prudent policies toward public resources like spectrum will benefit all Americans, by meeting current and future needs and by promoting continued innovation, investment and competition.
  4. The nearly $9 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) and the intercarrier compensation (ICC) system should be comprehensively reformed to increase accountability and efficiency, encourage targeted investment in broadband infrastructure and emphasize the importance of broadband to the future of these programs.
  5. Our Nation should harness the tools of modern communications technology to protect all Americans, including by enabling the development of a nation-wide, wireless, interoperable broadband network for the Nation's first responders.
  6. Ubiquitous and affordable broadband can unlock vast new opportunities for Americans, in communities large and small, with respect to consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth, and other national purposes.