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FCC Flooded with Advice on a National Broadband Plan
FCC Flooded with Advice on a National Broadband Plan

By Mark Long
June 9, 2009 1:36PM

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Industry and public-interest groups have flooded the Federal Communications Commission with advice on a national broadband plan. Time Warner wants to preserve an investment environment, while Free Press wants the FCC to focus on social and economic matters. Comcast wants to use stimulus dollars to encourage Internet connections.

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More Pro-Competitive Policies

The FCC "should not fool itself" into believing that the mere presence of two competitors is sufficient rivalry to ensure consumers will get the benefit of real competition, the Consumers Federation of America and Consumers Union said. "Because there are so few potential competitors left in the traditional wireline market, it will have to focus its attention on pro-competitive policies to revive competition on the platform and expand competition in the wireless space."

However, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association made it clear that it does not want the FCC to extend its forthcoming broadband policy to include wireless networks. "Nor should it adopt a nondiscrimination principle that will limit carriers' ability to ensure the innovation and quality consumers have come to expect from wireless service," the CTIA said.

On the other hand, the CTIA does want the FCC to reallocate additional spectrum to accommodate wireless broadband demand, which it says is rapidly outstripping the capacity available on networks.

"The simple answer is to provide certainty in the regulatory environment, certainty in terms of access to additional spectrum for commercial licensed services, and certainty in terms of the ability of carriers to site their towers and antennas," the industry association said.

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