The FCC has jumped decisively into the broadband deployment issue with a number of new initiatives. In the “concrete” area, it issued a declaratory ruling to expedite the decisions on cell tower installation, removing what some operators characterized as selected local logjams.
Perhaps the most far-reaching thing in the laundry list of broadband commentary yesterday was a task force report from the national broadband plan activity that listed no fewer than seven critical gaps that impact broadband availability. In summary, they were USF limitations, demographic inequality, consumer education problems, spectrum limitations, infrastructure cost barriers, STB innovation stagnation and privacy issues. While there has been publicity to suggest that open access is now a strong contender, those views are linked only to past studies and not to any current comment by the FCC. We indicated our view on the Berkman study in a past blog; we disagree almost totally with its findings.