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NCTA & Free Press Letter to Senate on Broadband Stimulus Discussion

WASHINGTON, February 4, 2009 – The top cable industry lobbyist and the policy director of a non-profit advocacy organization on Wednesday urged the Senate to target broadband funds toward the “construction of robust facilities in unserved areas. The broader objective should be to use scarce resources judiciously to maximize and modernize the reach of our network infrastructure.”

Drew Clark

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Letter Seeks Targeting of Broadband Stimulus Funds Toward Unserved Areas

Documents

Editor’s Note: This document was provided by NCTA on February 4, 2009, and is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. PDF available here. Visit the BroadbandCensus.com Broadband Wiki.

We write to applaud the Senate’s decision to consider measures in S. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, that will promote broadband adoption and deployment to unserved and underserved areas in the United States.

Despite our progress over the last decade in evolving from dial-up to broadband technology, we recognize that there is still work to be done.  Such work should promote continued private investment in high-speed networks, expand the reach of broadband to unserved areas, foster greater access to next generation technologies and spur broadband demand among groups that could — but nevertheless do not yet — subscribe to broadband services.

In particular, we support efforts in the Senate bill to unify broadband grant support under the expertise of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Through the Secretary of Commerce, the head of NTIA serves as the President’s principal adviser on telecommunications policy.  By selecting NTIA to coordinate and administer the distribution of grant funds, the bill correctly recognizes the value of this agency’s expertise in communications matters and avoids the potential confusion and inconsistencies that might result were the program split among multiple agencies. NTIA is well suited to the task of implementing policies that promote economic recovery and the improvement of our telecommunications infrastructure.  While there may be appropriate roles for other agencies to play in broadband, the size and scope of this program—as well as its necessary integration into other telecommunications policies—strongly indicates a single agency strategy as the correct path.

However, in order to ensure the success of this program, we believe that Congress should adopt refinements to the legislation that will clarify legislative intent, better target scarce resources, and fuel a national policy built on spurring consumer adoption and promoting technology investment.  In particular, we believe that the focus of any infrastructure grants under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program should be targeted to construction of robust facilities in unserved areas.  The broader objective should be to use scarce resources judiciously to maximize and modernize the reach of our network infrastructure.

Similarly, we believe that the bill should also be strengthened by clarifying that private broadband providers should be eligible to apply for government grants directly without diminishing the role of partnerships with local and state governments. In our view, such clarification could speed the efficient administration of the program and disbursement of funds while strengthening the valuable role played by governmental entities in conducting oversight.

While telecommunications policy will always spur differing views and spark a lively debate, we agree that an NTIA program focused in these ways can play a meaningful and responsible role in “moving the needle” on broadband adoption and deployment to close the digital divide.

Sincerely,

Kyle E. McSlarrow
President & CEO
NCTA

Ben Scott
Policy Director
Free Press

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Cable From U.S. Embassy In Beijing Reveals U.S. Perspective on Trade Relationship

For all of the tough talk coming out of Congress as the United States and China embark on a high profile trade summit today, a confidential memo sent by U.S. Ambassador Jon M. Huntsman at the beginning of 2010 illustrates how the fortunes of the two countries have changed in modern times, and how the leadership of the United States is scrambling for innovative ways to readjust as its economic clout fades.

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Letter Seeks Targeting of Broadband Stimulus Funds Toward Unserved Areas

Documents

Editor’s Note: This document was provided by NCTA on February 4, 2009, and is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. PDF available here. Visit the BroadbandCensus.com Broadband Wiki.

We write to applaud the Senate’s decision to consider measures in S. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, that will promote broadband adoption and deployment to unserved and underserved areas in the United States.

Despite our progress over the last decade in evolving from dial-up to broadband technology, we recognize that there is still work to be done.  Such work should promote continued private investment in high-speed networks, expand the reach of broadband to unserved areas, foster greater access to next generation technologies and spur broadband demand among groups that could — but nevertheless do not yet — subscribe to broadband services.

In particular, we support efforts in the Senate bill to unify broadband grant support under the expertise of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Through the Secretary of Commerce, the head of NTIA serves as the President’s principal adviser on telecommunications policy.  By selecting NTIA to coordinate and administer the distribution of grant funds, the bill correctly recognizes the value of this agency’s expertise in communications matters and avoids the potential confusion and inconsistencies that might result were the program split among multiple agencies. NTIA is well suited to the task of implementing policies that promote economic recovery and the improvement of our telecommunications infrastructure.  While there may be appropriate roles for other agencies to play in broadband, the size and scope of this program—as well as its necessary integration into other telecommunications policies—strongly indicates a single agency strategy as the correct path.

However, in order to ensure the success of this program, we believe that Congress should adopt refinements to the legislation that will clarify legislative intent, better target scarce resources, and fuel a national policy built on spurring consumer adoption and promoting technology investment.  In particular, we believe that the focus of any infrastructure grants under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program should be targeted to construction of robust facilities in unserved areas.  The broader objective should be to use scarce resources judiciously to maximize and modernize the reach of our network infrastructure.

Similarly, we believe that the bill should also be strengthened by clarifying that private broadband providers should be eligible to apply for government grants directly without diminishing the role of partnerships with local and state governments. In our view, such clarification could speed the efficient administration of the program and disbursement of funds while strengthening the valuable role played by governmental entities in conducting oversight.

While telecommunications policy will always spur differing views and spark a lively debate, we agree that an NTIA program focused in these ways can play a meaningful and responsible role in “moving the needle” on broadband adoption and deployment to close the digital divide.

Sincerely,

Kyle E. McSlarrow
President & CEO
NCTA

Ben Scott
Policy Director
Free Press

Continue Reading

Broadband Data

Study: FCC Could Improve Data Collection Practices

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission could do a better job of collecting and managing the information it gathers from consumers, businesses and other entities, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

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Letter Seeks Targeting of Broadband Stimulus Funds Toward Unserved Areas

Documents

Editor’s Note: This document was provided by NCTA on February 4, 2009, and is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. PDF available here. Visit the BroadbandCensus.com Broadband Wiki.

We write to applaud the Senate’s decision to consider measures in S. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, that will promote broadband adoption and deployment to unserved and underserved areas in the United States.

Despite our progress over the last decade in evolving from dial-up to broadband technology, we recognize that there is still work to be done.  Such work should promote continued private investment in high-speed networks, expand the reach of broadband to unserved areas, foster greater access to next generation technologies and spur broadband demand among groups that could — but nevertheless do not yet — subscribe to broadband services.

In particular, we support efforts in the Senate bill to unify broadband grant support under the expertise of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Through the Secretary of Commerce, the head of NTIA serves as the President’s principal adviser on telecommunications policy.  By selecting NTIA to coordinate and administer the distribution of grant funds, the bill correctly recognizes the value of this agency’s expertise in communications matters and avoids the potential confusion and inconsistencies that might result were the program split among multiple agencies. NTIA is well suited to the task of implementing policies that promote economic recovery and the improvement of our telecommunications infrastructure.  While there may be appropriate roles for other agencies to play in broadband, the size and scope of this program—as well as its necessary integration into other telecommunications policies—strongly indicates a single agency strategy as the correct path.

However, in order to ensure the success of this program, we believe that Congress should adopt refinements to the legislation that will clarify legislative intent, better target scarce resources, and fuel a national policy built on spurring consumer adoption and promoting technology investment.  In particular, we believe that the focus of any infrastructure grants under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program should be targeted to construction of robust facilities in unserved areas.  The broader objective should be to use scarce resources judiciously to maximize and modernize the reach of our network infrastructure.

Similarly, we believe that the bill should also be strengthened by clarifying that private broadband providers should be eligible to apply for government grants directly without diminishing the role of partnerships with local and state governments. In our view, such clarification could speed the efficient administration of the program and disbursement of funds while strengthening the valuable role played by governmental entities in conducting oversight.

While telecommunications policy will always spur differing views and spark a lively debate, we agree that an NTIA program focused in these ways can play a meaningful and responsible role in “moving the needle” on broadband adoption and deployment to close the digital divide.

Sincerely,

Kyle E. McSlarrow
President & CEO
NCTA

Ben Scott
Policy Director
Free Press

Continue Reading

Documents

BroadbandCensus.com Posts NTIA/RUS Broadband Infrastructure Application

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2009 – One week after the release of the two Notices of Funds Availability for broadband stimulus grants, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration had not posted the online applications as of 5:15 p.m. ET, although they were promised on July 7, 2009.

Drew Clark

Published

on

Letter Seeks Targeting of Broadband Stimulus Funds Toward Unserved Areas

Documents

Editor’s Note: This document was provided by NCTA on February 4, 2009, and is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. PDF available here. Visit the BroadbandCensus.com Broadband Wiki.

We write to applaud the Senate’s decision to consider measures in S. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, that will promote broadband adoption and deployment to unserved and underserved areas in the United States.

Despite our progress over the last decade in evolving from dial-up to broadband technology, we recognize that there is still work to be done.  Such work should promote continued private investment in high-speed networks, expand the reach of broadband to unserved areas, foster greater access to next generation technologies and spur broadband demand among groups that could — but nevertheless do not yet — subscribe to broadband services.

In particular, we support efforts in the Senate bill to unify broadband grant support under the expertise of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Through the Secretary of Commerce, the head of NTIA serves as the President’s principal adviser on telecommunications policy.  By selecting NTIA to coordinate and administer the distribution of grant funds, the bill correctly recognizes the value of this agency’s expertise in communications matters and avoids the potential confusion and inconsistencies that might result were the program split among multiple agencies. NTIA is well suited to the task of implementing policies that promote economic recovery and the improvement of our telecommunications infrastructure.  While there may be appropriate roles for other agencies to play in broadband, the size and scope of this program—as well as its necessary integration into other telecommunications policies—strongly indicates a single agency strategy as the correct path.

However, in order to ensure the success of this program, we believe that Congress should adopt refinements to the legislation that will clarify legislative intent, better target scarce resources, and fuel a national policy built on spurring consumer adoption and promoting technology investment.  In particular, we believe that the focus of any infrastructure grants under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program should be targeted to construction of robust facilities in unserved areas.  The broader objective should be to use scarce resources judiciously to maximize and modernize the reach of our network infrastructure.

Similarly, we believe that the bill should also be strengthened by clarifying that private broadband providers should be eligible to apply for government grants directly without diminishing the role of partnerships with local and state governments. In our view, such clarification could speed the efficient administration of the program and disbursement of funds while strengthening the valuable role played by governmental entities in conducting oversight.

While telecommunications policy will always spur differing views and spark a lively debate, we agree that an NTIA program focused in these ways can play a meaningful and responsible role in “moving the needle” on broadband adoption and deployment to close the digital divide.

Sincerely,

Kyle E. McSlarrow
President & CEO
NCTA

Ben Scott
Policy Director
Free Press

Continue Reading

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