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National Broadband Strategy Week Begins Today, 10 a.m., in Dirksen Senate Building

in Broadband Stimulus by

WASHINGTON, December 2 – A total of 55 companies and non-profit organizations, including major corporate entities such as AT&T, Cisco Systems, Google, Intel and Verizon Communications, have signed on to a “call to action for a national broadband strategy.”

The document has been crafted by a wide range of parties over the past year under the stewardship of James Baller, senior principal of the Baller Herbst Law Group, and the final version was released late Monday.

Verizon was a last-minute addition to the group of signatories, having joined the list in between the first and the second public versions e-mailed by Baller.

Among the major trade groups that signed on to the “call to action” were the wireless association CTIA, the Telecommunications Industry Association, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Utilities Telecom Council, and the Wireless Communications Associations International

Among the major non-profit groups include American Library Association, Communications Workers of America, EDUCAUSE, Free Press, OneEconomy, Connected Nation, Internet2, Media Access Project, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the New America Foundation and Public Knowledge.

BroadbandCensus.com is also a signatory to the “call to action.”

Baller released the final version in anticipation of a 10 a.m. press conference in room G-50 of the Dirkson Senate Office Building.

“What’s most remarkable about this initiative is that so large and diverse a group of organizations agreed not only on the terms of our call to action statement, but also to continue to work together to build consensus on the substance of a national broadband strategy,” Baller said in a statement.

He also said that the call to action commits its signatories “to continue to work together to address key issues and priorities and to hold an event to present more specific recommendations to President Obama, Congress and the American people.”

The “call to action” includes general principles about the need for advanced communications capabilities, highlights the fact that “too many Americans still do not have access to affordable broadband,” and sets five goals for a comprehensive government strategy that would promote broadband.

The five goals are that (a) every American home and institution should have access to broadband, (b) access to the Internet should be open to all users and content providers, (c) network operators “must have the right to manage their networks responsibly, pursuant to clear and workable guidelines and standards,” (d) the broadband marketplace “should be” competitive; and (e) U.S. broadband networks should have the performance and capacity necessary to allow this country to be competitive in the global marketplace.

The document then outlines policies to stimulate investment, policies to stimulate adoption and use, and measures for “a system for regular and timely collection and publication of data” on broadband deployment, adoption and use.

The meeting of the call to action for a national broadband strategy isn’t the only major broadband-related event being held in the coming week. On Thursday, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute is presenting a “Call for Solutions” in Northampton, Mass., on ways to enable broadband throughout western Massachusetts.  And on Saturday, the Internet for Everyone group, coordinated by Free Press and supported by Google, is hosting a “Town Hall Meeting” in Los Angeles designed to “kick-start the movement to make an internet connection a right of every American.”

And on Tuesday, December 9, BroadbandCensus.com is hosting the second of its five-part series, the Broadband Breakfast Club, on “How Broadband Applications and Mapping Harness Demand for High-Speed Internet” in Washington. The event will take place at the Old Ebbitt Grill from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and will feature speakers from App-Rising, the Public Technology Institute and Walt Disney.

Broadband Breakfast Club:

Editor’s Note: Join the next Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, December 9, on how broadband applications – including telemedicine – can harness demand for high-speed internet services. Register at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

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Broadband Census Articles and Documents of Interest:

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband's impact, and the universal service fund @BroadbandCensus. He is also Of Counsel with the firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media, including LinkedIN, are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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