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National Broadband Plan[edit]

The National Broadband Plan of the United State was created by the staff of the FCC. This plan was required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It ensured every American has “access to broadband capability."

Goals of NBP[edit]

The goals of the plan as described in broadband.gov:

1) At least 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second by the year 2020.

2) The United States should lead the world in mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive wireless networks of any nation.

3) Every American should have affordable access to robust broadband service, and the means and skills to subscribe if they so choose.

4) Every American community should have affordable access to at least 1 gigabit per second broadband service to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings.

5) To ensure the safety of the American people, every first responder should have access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable broadband public safety network.

6) To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption.

Regulatory Issues[edit]

"The regulation of broadband is an increasingly important issue for two main reasons. Firstly, broadband provides the means to transport various signals (voice, data,video, etc) that have traditionally been subject to differing regulation. Secondly, the infrastructure costs and first mover advantage in the provision of broadband services have great implications for competition."[1]

In 2000, ITU Member States and Sector Members selected the regulatory implications of broadband as a high priority for future research under the "New Initiatives Programme".

Implications of Broadband Plan[edit]

According to the findings of the National Broadband Plan, one hundred million American do not have broadband at home and in the U.S. continues us to be behind a great number of our international economic competitors in broadband access speed. The FCC have finally brought out a plan of information and recommendations to address these problems, along with approaches to maximize the economic and social gains from broadband adoption.

This plan is specializing the role of broadband in education, health care, energy and the environment, government performance, civic engagement, public safety, and economic opportunity. Also includes a recognition that broadband obtainment cannot occur without the active participation of the states.

Expanding Broadband Access:[edit]

A number of recommendations have clear implications for policy action by state and local governments. On the basic issue of expanded access to broadband, the FCC recommendations include:


  • Congress should make clear that tribal, state, regional and local governments can build broadband networks. (Recommendation 8.19)

As private investors do not always have the strongest incentives to deploy broadband in rural and underserved communities at an affordable price, states and local leaders should be allowed to step in to provide affordable broadband services that will meet their residents’ needs.

  • Federal and state policies should facilitate demand aggregation and use of state, regional and local networks when that is the most cost-efficient solution for anchor institutions to meet their connectivity needs. (Recommendation 8.20)

Pooling demand among institutions can provide more access to a wider constituency at lower prices.

  • State legislators are essential partners in developing the framework that will help anchor institutions to obtain broadband connectivity, training, applications, and services. (Recommendation 8.22)

States should complement broadband deployment with digital education programs and fund community technology centers to ensure that residents of all ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and ages understand how to be producers as well as consumers of this new media economy.

  • When feasible, Congress should consider allowing state and local governments to get lower service prices by participating in federal contracts for advanced communications services. (Recommendation 14.2)
  • The FCC plan provides additional recommendations for the inclusion of tribal leaders in broadband programs, construction of new networks in areas that are currently un-served, and the establishment of the Connect America Fund to address the broadband availability gap in un-served areas.


The FCC recommendations also focused on helping states make broadband more affordable and increasing the training needed to encourage adoption , including:

  • An expansion of the Lifeline Assistance and Link-Up America programs, where states already have these discount programs in place, as in Vermont, the FCC recommends letting states determine their own eligibility requirements.
  • The creation of a National Digital Literacy Program to increase the skills needed to participate in the digital economy.
  • The collection of more comprehensive and reliable information on broadband pricing, performance, and competition in specific market segments to better inform policymakers on affordability problems in specific communities.[2]

Future Implications of Broadband Plan[edit]

"The Internet, a system of interconnected computer networks primarily in the USA, can be seen as an experiment in the development, deployment and use of high-speed networks, and as such can provide guidance for the shaping of the future national telecommunications infrastructure. Internet's significance lies not only in the technologies it helps develop, but more importantly in the new usage dynamics it helps uncover, the new network management mechanisms it tests and the new policy strategies it explores."[3]

Practical Implications[edit]

"Public policy makers throughout the world are faced with the need to update, replace, and/or revise existing regulations that govern the relationships between and among traditional video distribution platforms, such as over-the-air and cable/satellite providers, as the internet emerges as a viable video distribution platform."[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Regulatory Issues". International Telecommunications Union. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Progressive States Network". Fabiola Carrion. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "The building of the internet: Implications for the future of broadband networks". Telecommunications Policy Volume 16, Issue 8 pages 666-689. November 1992.  Unknown parameter |access date= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ John Meisel (2007). "The emergence of the internet to deliver video programming: economic and regulatory issues, info, Vol. 9 Iss: 1, pp.52 - 64".  Unknown parameter |date access= ignored (help)