FCC asking for responses to Berkman Center broadband policy report

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The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on a broadband study by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, asking, among other items, how much weight it should be accorded as the FCC develops a broadband strategy. The 232-page draft report by the Center, which works to “explore and understand cyberspace,” is a comparative study that seeks to define what broadband is and examines how it was developed and is used in Denmark, France, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. From the study: “All countries we surveyed include in their approaches, strategies, or plans, a distinct target of reaching their entire population. Many of the countries we observed explicitly embrace a dual-track approach in the near future: achieving access for the entire population to first-generation broadband levels of service, and achieving access to next generation capabilities for large portions of their population, but not necessarily everyone, in the near to medium term.” Recent findings of the blue-ribbon Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy also recommended that broadband policy makers “set ambitious standards for nationwide broadband availability and adopt public policies encouraging consumer demand for broadband services.” Pubcasting stations are among entities in the running for millions in broadband stimulus funds (Current, Sept. 21).