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McCaskill and Genachowski Hold Broadband Forum in Missouri

in Broadband's Impact/FCC/States by

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2010- On Friday Sen. Claire McCaskill and Federal Communication Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski held a community forum on broadband in Troy, Mo.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski PHOTO CREDIT: V. Proffer

At the meeting McCaskill, D-Mo., espoused the need for high speed broadband to rural America as an economic necessity. “Without fast speeds to the Internet, our commerce, our job creation in this country is going to continue to fall behind,” said McCaskill.

Chairman Genachowski spoke of the virtues of his Third Way proposal and how it would support rural broadband efforts.

Also at the meeting was St. Louis Broadband CEO Victoria Proffer. She advised the panel to recognize the unique nature of wireless internet service providers and their ability to provide broadband to unserved areas.

St. Louis Broadband is a Wireless ISP serving St. Louis County.

Also in attendance was Rick Harnish, president of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, who commented on the importance of unlicensed spectrum towards innovation. Citing the 2.4Ghz band which was once considered junk is now the heaviest used band. “Nearly everyone has been impacted by the innovation created by unlicensed spectrum, from laptops, smartphones, baby monitors, and many other devices.  Wireless ISPs also share this band to deliver services to millions of unserved consumers and businesses.”

Harnish also explained the importance of the white spaces and how this band of unused spectrum could bring wireless broadband to many unserved Americans. The propagation properties of these band make them ideal for areas of high geographic density such as mountainous regions or heavily wooded areas.

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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