FCC chair gets serious about broadband plan

Spurred by a congressional mandate and backed by some serious cash from the stimulus plan, newly named Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has been evangelizing the need for broadband speed, ChannelWeb reports. To meet the terms of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which calls for the FCC to submit a national broadband plan to Congress by Feb. 16, 2010, Genachowski on Aug. 4 appointed several communication executives to his newly created Omnibus Broadband Initiative that is charged with developing the national plan. In addition, Genachowski has come up with a concept foreign to most government agencies: transparency. As part of his plans, the FCC will hold a series of open workshops concerning broadband deployment and adoption and has invited the public to suggest meeting topics and questions. The meetings also will be broadcast over the internet and archived online. In addition, the FCC has launched the beta web site www.broadband.gov, which provides ongoing information and seeks input from the public. "Please get involved," Genachowski says on the site. "Tell us about the needs of your community and your hopes and aspirations for the national broadband plan. This is about those who we risk leaving behind if we don’t pursue a national broadband strategy."

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