In a five-page letter Thursday (Sept. 16), outgoing Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media founder Bill Kling advises the FCC to ensure a “reasonable cost structure” and redirect Universal Service Funds (currently subsidizing phone access) “toward investment and innovation” for public broadband, reports MinnPost.com’s David Brauer. Kling, who announced his retirement Sept. 10, predicts that “public media’s largest audiences in 10 years will be in automobiles with mobile Internet ‘radios.’ … As the 2011 model cars emerge with mobile Internet ‘radios,’ ISPs and device manufacturers are moving demand from broadcast to wireless broadband.”
Kling also suggests that the FCC require ISPs that develop private broadband networks “carry all relevant applications and programming from Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) qualified public service media organizations at no cost to the content producer.” This, he writes, will allow “consumer preference” to determine what amount of network capacity is set aside for public service content. Potential rules could require On-demand HD video services to carry PBS applications serving content from such programs as Frontline, Masterpiece and PBS Kids along with other local pubTV shows. “Even private gaming networks could benefit from the noncommercial games developed by or for public service media organizations,” he noted.