Obama Administration Gets Earful on Broadband Research Agenda

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The Obama Administration is getting plenty of input on what information it should be collecting to help guide its mission of promoting universal broadband deployment, adoption and competition. Comments were due Oct 11 on the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and National Science Foundation joint National Broadband Research Agenda, one of the September 2015 recommendations of the Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC), which was created in March 2015 by President Obama and co-chaired by the Commerce Department (NTIA is an arm of Commerce) and the Department of Agriculture, both of which oversaw billions in stimulus funds for broadband buildouts.

The Benton Foundation, American Library Association, Media Mobilizing Project, New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Public Knowledge, said that the research must take into account the specific needs of seniors, low-income families, persons with disabilities, people living in rural areas, all population groups they argue are usually ignored when developing new broadband policies. They also want the research to look at how to reach vulnerable communities during the IP transition, when some may be "left without robust access." Mobile Future, representing wireless broadband providers, wants the research to focus on "existing regulatory and financial barriers to infrastructure deployment" as part of an effort to eliminate them. Their goal is reasonable costs and processes for rolling out 5G networks, so they want the government to study the impact of fees for rights of way, for example, or delays in processing applications, connecting to polls or accessing municipal infrastructure.


Obama Administration Gets Earful on Broadband Research Agenda