FCC's plan for broadband Internet access falls short

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[Commentary] The National Broadband Plan aims to speed up and expand broadband access, which are both big problems: 35 percent of adult Americans lack high-speed Internet access at home, and those who do connect at slower speeds than residents of other countries. But this set of blueprints doesn't represent much of a change from the existing market for high-speed Internet access.

The plan relies on a rearrangement of the airwaves, a reshuffling of existing subsidies and tweaks to current regulations. If those measures work as planned, we should have more choices for wireless broadband. But wireless carriers may not charge any less and could exert the same control over which devices we can run on their networks. For faster connections, most of us will continue to be stuck with the same two wireline providers: the phone company and the cable company. Which, in turn, means that the cost of connectivity -- what the FCC's own research identified as the biggest factor holding back broadband -- isn't likely to get much lighter.


FCC's plan for broadband Internet access falls short