Better Broadband Better Lives Weekly Report September 8th 2009

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WASHINGTON, September 8, 2009 - Broadband policy didn’t take a breather in August: besides the raft of broadband stimulus application and a new wireless investigation at the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC has been clocking the hours on its series of broadband workshops. The agency has held 21 of 27 such fact-finding panels.

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WASHINGTON, September 8, 2009 - The record from the workshops on the national broadband plan that is being prepared by the Federal Communications Commission is growing larger and larger, as the agency has concluded 21 of the 27 sessions it had planned.

The list of topics has also grown, as the agency last week added several more on: the role of content in the broadband ecosystem, spectrum policy issues, diversity and civil rights, and a second panel on broadband for people with disabilities.

This week’s panel, on September 9, considers the consumer context for broadband, and is currently scheduled to include presentations by John Horrigan, the consumer research director for the FCC’ broadband initiative, as well as Marc Berejka, formerly of Microsoft and now a senior policy advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, as well as Robert Cannon, a key FCC behind-the-scenes player, who holds the title of senior counsel for internet law.

Also scheduled to testify is Michael Wroblewski, deputy director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC, of course, is the other agency in town that historically has had some responsibility over all matters internet. On Friday, the FTC issued a statement calling attention to the agency’s own filing in the FCC’s broadband proceeding.

In particular, the FTC highlighted the importance of price competition in a consumer-focused broadband policy. “Competition pressures producers and service providers to offer customers the most attractive array of choices with respect to price, quality, and other options,” reads the FTC statement.

“At the same time, consumer protection policy promotes informed decision-making by customers and requires sellers to provide meaningful, timely information about their products and services,” said the FTC.[/private_Premium Content][/private_Free Trial]

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Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. He is an attorney who works with cities, communities and companies to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed 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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