FCC: Internet is Priority, Releases Broadband Speed Test Apps

. Saturday, March 13


The Federal Communications Commission will propose a vast, 10-year plan to establish the Internet as the US’s dominant communication network to Congress on Tuesday, March 16, according to the NY Times. As usual, the plan is expected to spark resistance from major telecommunications and television providers.

The proposal reflects the government’s expectations of the Internet growing to replace telephone and broadcast industries and provide access to the one-third of the country now without to bring the country up from behind in broadband and high-speed access.

“The plan envisions a fully Web-connected world with split-second access to health care information and online classrooms, delivered through wireless devices yet to be dreamed up in Silicon Valley.”

The shift will include a cut in subsidizing phones to support broadband access and affordability. It will also include freeing up over-the-air spectrum from television broadcasters who argue that they still provide a much needed and valuable public service in emergencies and that the proposal would cause signal gaps in coverage.

“Broadband will be the indispensable platform to assure American competitiveness, ongoing job creation and innovation, and will affect nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives at home, at work, and in their communities,” said Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman.

To kick off the initiative to increase broadband access, the FCC released two tools to test broadband service and to report areas without broadband access: the Consumer Broadband Test and the Broadband Dead Zone Report, both available at broadband.gov. The Broadband Test application is also available in mobile versions through iTunes and Android mobile app stores.