FCC chair previews broadband recommendations for Congress

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Today in Washington, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (right) provided insights into what will be contained in the agency’s National Broadband Plan report to Congress next month. In a speech to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (PDF), he cited several important issues, including spectrum use. He said that the commission will make the recommendation to “free up a significant amount of spectrum in the years ahead for ample licensed and unlicensed use.” Experts have been predicting a coming spectrum auction, which might leave pubcasters with a tricky decision (“At what cost spectrum? Stations may face choice: Cash soon or opportunities later,” Current, Feb. 10, 2010). Several other recommendations Genachowski mentioned included “lowering the cost of broadband build-out — wired and wireless — through the smart use of government rights of way and conduits,” and developing “public/private partnerships to increase Internet adoption, and ensure that all children can use the Internet proficiently and safely.” He also said the plan will set goals for the United State to have the world’s largest market of very high-speed broadband users, which he dubbed a “100 Squared” initiative: 100 million households at 100 megabits per second.