NARUC Urges FCC to Use BroadbandBestPractices.org as Agency's Clearinghouse for Success StoriesBroadband Data, FCC, National Broadband Plan October 22nd, 2009
Mercy Gakii, Reporter-Researcher, BroadbandBreakfast.com
WASHINGTON, October 22, 2009 – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners on Tuesday filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission urged the agency to select its web site, www.BroadbandBestPractices.org, as the commission’s “clearinghouse” for examples of broadband successes.
NARUC praised the FCC for its efforts to utilize the so-called “Section 706” Joint Conference members and structure as part of the national broadband plan that the FCC is charged with carrying out by February 17, 2009. The group is a “joint conference” of state regulators and the FCC, and has been following broadband data and mapping efforts for some time.
NARUC said that it would be inefficient for the FCC to consider launch a duplicative broadband clearinghouse effort.
NARUC said that D.C. Public Service Commission Chairman Betty Ann Kane headed up the effort to create an interactive a “best practices” webpage.
This interactive portal is designed to link to various broadband projects, and one key objective, NARUC said, is to consolidate the information contained in several useful, but incomplete, state-focused websites.
The website, www.BroadbandBestPractices.org, aims to grow over time. Presently, it is being maintained by the National Regulatory Research Institute, an independent research agency specializing in utility and regulatory practices.
NARUC has provided the NRRI a one-time financial grant start up the site.
The objective of the website design is for public and private broadband project managers, and sponsors, to voluntarily add details about their infrastructure projects and/or adoption programs to the national inventory.
All descriptions of broadband projects/programs can be edited and updated by the original authors or other participants as the projects/programs are completed or expanded.
Finally, NARUC urged the FCC should immediately complete federal commissioner appointments to the Joint Conference and use the conference as the vehicle to suggest possible changes.
BroadbandCensus.com, a data and news provider of information about local broadband deployment and policy, in 2008 conducted a series of stories, “Broadband Census in the States,” about various states’ experience in providing broadband. And, together with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, BroadbandCensus.com co-sponsored the “Broadband Census for America Conference” in September 2008.
BroadbandCensus.com was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on BroadbandCensus.com is produced by Broadband Census News LLC, a subsidiary of Broadband Census LLC that was created in July 2009.
A recent split of operations helps to clarify the mission of BroadbandCensus.com. Broadband Census Data LLC offers commercial broadband verification services to cities, states, carriers and broadband users. Created in July 2009, Broadband Census Data LLC produced a joint application in the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program with Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program. In August 2009, BroadbandCensus.com released a beta map of Columbia, South Carolina, in partnership with Benedict-Allen Community Development Corporation.
Broadband Census News LLC offers daily and weekly reporting, as well as the Broadband Breakfast Club. The Broadband Breakfast Club has been inviting top experts and policy-makers to share breakfast and perspectives on broadband technology and internet policy since October 2008. Both Broadband Census News LLC and Broadband Census Data LLC are subsidiaries of Broadband Census LLC, and are organized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. About BroadbandCensus.com.