FCC Investigates High-Speed Internet Deployment

Are we deploying high-speed Internet access as fast as we should? That's what the FCC wants to know.

As required by the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the FCC has embarked on a project to investigate just how well America's Internet expansion is going, reports EWeek. The first part will be an inquiry into the geographical spread of Internet access, while the second part of this effort will determine whether the Internet access available is fast and reliable for all communities. According to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, this process:

...asks questions about how we can obtain more specific information about broadband deployment and consumer acceptance in specific geographic areas and how we can combine our data with those collected at the state level or by other public sources…By improving our data collection, we will be able to identify more precisely those areas of the country where additional broadband deployment is needed.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps is a strong proponent of this effort, expressing his concern that the U.S. is falling behind other countries in Internet availability:

...our country is falling behind many other industrialized nations in broadband availability, adoption, speed and price…. Indeed, the lack of reliable government data on the present state of our broadband market is a fundamental obstacle to developing a national strategy to reverse our inexcusable broadband performance. Until we know where we stand today, how can we possibly build the broadband future that our nation deserves? And if the FCC doesn't gather this data, who will?

A better understanding of where we stand and how much further we need to go is a crucial first step in a national Internet access strategy. Our communities need the FCC to improve their data collection, and to push for new policies that bring our country's communications infrastructure up to date.

EWeek: FCC Investigates Internet Deployment

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