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Wireline Competition Bureau

At Urging of Competify Coalition of Telecom Competitors, FCC Launches Inquiry of Broadband Business Services

in FCC/IP Transition by

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2015 – The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it had launched an investigation into the broadband pricing plans of local exchange carriers AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Verizon Communications for so-called “special access services” of business data.

A coalition of competitive carriers and non-profit organizations dubbed Competify has been urging the inquiry, and praised Friday’s order by the agency’s Wireline Communications Bureau.

“The incumbents use inherently anticompetitive lock-up plans – which only an entity with immense market power could impose – to charge businesses and anchor institutions excessive access rates that harm competition, restrain the deployment of competitive facilities, and impede the transition to next-generation services,” according to a statement released by the group.














Among the companies supporting the campaign include BT, Level 3, Sprint and  XO Communications, together with a range of non-profit organizations.

The US Telecommunications Association struck back. Said association president Walter McCormick: “At the very time the commission is expressing concern over the growing dominance of cable in the overall broadband marketplace, and acknowledging that burdensome legacy regulation of telecom companies is misdirecting investment and hindering competition, it launches an old-fashioned ‘tarriff’  investigation of the only competitors in the marketplace who are required to operate under last century’s antiquated rules.”

Specifically, according to the order launching the investigation, the inquiry concerns “only a subset of specialized telecommunications services that continue to operate under tariffs,” namely time-division multiplexed (TDM) business data services such as DS1 and DS3 channel terminations under dedicated copper-based circuits.

“While competitors continue to expand their market presence by building IP [internet protocol]-based facilities or extending purchased TDM based facilities to additional buildings, preliminary results from the Commission’s data collection show that incumbent LECs remain the sole facilities-based provider of TDM-based special access services to a majority of business locations that demand or are likely to demand business data services nationwide.”

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., applauded the FCC’s investigation “that major telecom companies in the U.S. have been stifling competition in the $40 billion a year market for special access.”

“For too long, companies that utilize special access service have alleged that these services are only offered with unreasonable conditions attached, aimed at driving competitors out of this space,” wrote the representatives.

Other articles on the inquiry and Comptetify:

The Hill: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/257227-four-companies-at-center-of-fcc-probe-into-special-access-market

Multichannel News: http://www.multichannel.com/news/fcc/competify-launches-broadband-competition-campaign/394429

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband usage, the universal service fund and wireless policy @BroadbandCensus. He is also Of Counsel with the firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP, with offices in California and Washington, DC. He works with cities, special districts and private companies on planning, financing and coordinating efforts of the many partners necessary to construct broadband infrastructure and deploy “Smart City” applications. You can find him on LinkedIN and Twitter. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media 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.

FCC Workshop on eRate Funding Shows New Flexibility for School and Library Fiber Builds

in FCC/Fiber/Gigabit Networks/Universal Service by

June 18, 2015 – Recent changes to the eligibility rules for the Federal Communication Commission’s eRate program open the door for new fiber connections for schools and libraries using agency funds.

Among the rule changes were the suspension of the requirement that applicants seek funding for large up front construction costs over several years, the equalization in the treatment for schools and libraries seeking support for “dark fiber” services, and allowing institutions to build high-speed broadband themselves when more cost-effective.

What’s more, these were only among the significant changes to the eRate program in December 2014.

Because they closely followed other significant changes in July 2014, it has taken some time for the broadband industry to fully recognize their significance. Moreover, the eRate is only the most recent of the four major components of the agency’s Universal Service Fund to receive an overhaul.

The eRate changes came last year in two traunches. in July, the agency updated its rules to allow great use of technologies allowing schools and libraries to close the so-called “Wi-Fi” gap.

Then in December, the agency a addressed the “Connectivity Gap” by granting schools and libraries significantly greater flexibility in purchasing Gigabit-level bandwidth to meet their growing needs. Additionally, the December order lifted the annual cap on spending eRate funds to $3.9 billion, from the current $2.4 billion.

Although the additional $1.5 billion in funds availability has been well-known, It has taken some time for the industry to recognize the scope of the rule changes for the construction of fiber-based services.

“Last year was a big year for the eRate,” said Lisa Hone, associate bureau chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the FCC at a May 20 workshop at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “The $3.9 billion means that in the 2015 funding year, the eRate is able to fully meet demand, for the first time since 2010.”

The May 20 “Public Workshop On E-Rate Funded Fiber Build Projects” drilled into details regarding the significance of the new fiber rules for eRate.

In a dialogue at the workshop between Jon Wilkins, managing director of the FCC, and Joe Freddoso, former CEO of MCNC, the non-profit fiber-optic network in North Carolina, Wilkins defined the following terms:

  • Lit fiber or lit services are the traditional, conventional, high-speed service, received from an incumbent service provider. The school or library is buying the service at a recurring, monthly charge, but may also need to pay a one-time construction charge.
  • Dark fiber are the physical fiber strands, built and owned by the service provider, but to which the school or library buys dedicated access, for some period of time, to operate for a period of time. This is often done through a legal mechanism known as an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU).
  • Self-provisioning is when the school or library takes full responsibility for itself to build, to operate, and to maintain the broadband network. While this can be a bigger undertaking, if the school needs to undertake this activity, eRate now supports it, too.

Before the December changes, if a school or library undertook construction of more than $500,000, it had to be spread over three years, said Wilkins. Now, it can all be done in one year.

As with many government funding activities, schools or libraries must come up with some portion of the funds — known as a match — to access eRate funds. Before the December changes, said Wilkins, the match had to be paid in the first year. Now, that up-front cost can be spread among four years.

These are the among the changes that can incentivize schools and libraries to obtain funding for fiber-optic services besides those lit services that are offered through a traditional incumbent. By enabling construction costs to be funded up front, Wilkins said, “eRate provides a much more open ability to select dark fiber or self-provisioning a network.”

Broadband Roundup: FCC’s Wheeler Continues Net Neutrality Quest, FCC Wireline Bureau Benchmarks Broadband Data for Connect America Fund

in Broadband Data/Broadband Roundup/Broadband's Impact/FCC/Universal Service by

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 – Republicans are concerned about the regulation of internet service providers as utilities under Title II of the Communications Act, but Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he isn’t ruling out the section as a legal basis for agency authority. In a letter responding to concerns from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, about net neutrality, he said, “Section 706 gives the commission the tools to adopt and implement robust and enforceable Open Internet rules.”

That said, “both Section 706 and Title II are viable solutions to the authority issue,” Wheeler wrote. Should the agency seek to reclassify internet services, it would look to see which common-carrier provisions from which broadband services should be exempt. Further inquiry and public discussion about the matter is necessary before a final decision is made, he said.

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has set forth a specific methodology for benchmarking various fixed broadband services. It came in a measure regarding the Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation, comparing the rate and support for voice and broadband services in supported areas at reasonable rates compared to similar services in urban areas.

“The methodology proposes here would result in a broadband benchmark that ranges from $68.48 to $71.84 for services meeting the current broadband performance standard of 4 Mbps [Megabits per second] downstream/1 Mbps upstream, with the specific benchmark depending on the associated usage allowance.”

The agency’s staff report was posted at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/urban-rate-survey-data, detailing fixed broadband service data collected in the 2013 urban rate survey. Three potential methods for determining the average urban rate using the data collected in the survey were outlined:

The first approach calculates the average using a sub-sample of observations based  solely on download speed, without regard to usage or upstream speeds.

The second approach calculates the average by identifying the subset of observations  that meet or exceed a minimum service level, and then for each provider that is captured in that sub-sample, computing the average based on the lowest rate offered by that provider that meets or exceeds the specified service level.

The third approach uses a simple weighted linear regression model that takes into account the impact of three dimensions of service on rates: upload speed, download speed, and usage allowance, if any.

The Wireline Competition Bureau also  announced the commencement of the Connect America Phase II challenge process for price cap territories. It encouraged local governments and stakeholders to participate in the challenge. A list of census blocks deemed initially eligible for Phase II support was released.

The FCC said: “This list consists of census blocks that are: (1) shown as unserved by an unsubsidized competitor; (2) “high cost” according to the adopted Connect America Cost Model, which means that the census block has a calculated average cost per location above $52.50 and below $207.81; and (3) located in price cap territories.”

Parties have until August 14, 2014, to file a challenge before the FCC to the “inclusion or exclusion of particular census blocks on the list,” although challenges may only be based on the first criterion. The FCC  will then “make its final determination as to whether the challenged census blocks will be treated as served or unserved by an unsubsidized.”

Universal Service Reform Gets Bipartisan and Industry Support

in Broadband's Impact/Universal Service by

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2010 – The Universal Service Fund is in need of reform but rather than fully overhaul the program, Reps. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Lee Terry, R-Neb., have introduced a bill targeting the high cost fund, the method of fund collection and the inclusion of funds for the support of broadband.

H.R. 5828, the Universal Service Reform Act, has received support from a broad range of stakeholders including Verizon, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association.

“The bill modernizes a program that ensures the availability of communications connections to millions of Americans, benefiting not just the rural residents who live in high-cost areas, but benefiting the entire nation. We are a stronger nation when we are all connected through telecommunications,” said Boucher, who represents a rural district, at a Thursday Hill hearing discussing the fund.

The committee recognizes that while the inclusion of broadband in the fund is important, the rising cost to consumers is also a problem. To solve this issue, the bill mandates that USF taxes be applied to broadband providers in addition to telephone providers. In addition, rather than assess a tax based on revenue, the bill requires a flat amount based upon the total phone numbers issued.

This new inclusion of a tax based upon phone numbers does pose challenges. Rep Mike Doyle, D-Pa., raised the question of how devices which provide access to the internet such as the Amazon Kindle, will be taxed. The Kindle uses a whisper net provided by Sprint to connect to the internet. In counterpoint, the Sony eBook reader requires users to connect via a Wi-Fi network and would not be taxed.

The bill does however allow for exclusions or discounts for entities which use bulk numbers such as universities or large corporations.

The inclusion of broadband received broad support from the committee members along with the Federal Communications Commission. In a statement, Carol Mattey, deputy chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, said: “The current system, which wasn’t designed to explicitly support broadband, is not working for everyone. While consumers in some places in rural America have access to some of the best broadband networks in the country, others don’t have access to broadband at all, even though they are served by providers eligible for universal service support. While many speak of an urban/rural divide for broadband service, the more troubling trend is a rural/rural divide that reflects the antiquated structure and incentives of our current high cost program.”

“Universal service support is now the only remaining potential source of funding for broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas,” said Qwest Senior Vice President Robert Davis. “Qwest thus supports the bill’s explicit authorization of universal service support for the provision, maintenance and upgrading of high-speed broadband service.”

A major criticism of the high cost fund is that often times in areas of support there are double the number of providers than in competitive areas. This occurs since all the providers in a high cost area are given some level of support. The bill would limit the number of support recipients to two per region. Additionally, these providers would also be required to provide broadband along with telephone service.

The bill also tackles the issue of intercarrier compensation by forcing all carriers to identify all traffic which originates on their networks and determine where it terminates.

Verizon’s Kathleen Grillo said: “It is not possible to maintain the current intercarrier compensation system in today’s communications market. The current system is based on the idea that there are meaningful distinctions between interstate and intrastate services and between telecommunications and information services. The result of these distinctions is the current patchwork of vastly different charges and rates for communications traffic depending on what the traffic is, where it came from, and where it is going. In a market where most consumers now purchase a bundle of any-distance services (such as phone, TV, and Internet access), these distinctions are meaningless. And even in situations where it is still possible to measure traffic in these ways, continuing to do that just for intercarrier compensation purposes does not make sense. All of these complications and uncertainty reduce investment in broadband.”

NTIA Seeks Access to FCC’s Form 477 Database for Better Broadband Data

in Broadband Data by

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration last week asked the Federal Communications Commission to release a key database of information about broadband deployment assembled from providers of high-speed internet access.

In a public notice dated Wednesday, November 25, the FCC said it intended to release this database — the Form 477 database — to the NTIA unless it received opposition from the carriers who have provided the broadband data by December 7, 2009.

The NTIA requested access to the database in a letter from Tony Wilhelm, deputy associate administrator of the NTIA. The letter, dated November 23, 2009 but not yet available, was written to the head of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau.

In its letter, NTIA explained that it wanted access to the Form 477 database in order to get a better idea about which areas of the country are served – and which areas are not served.

NTIA “intends to use this data to help validate the unserved or underserved classifications of the BTOP applicants’ provided funded service areas,” the public notice quotes Wilhelm’s letter.

BroadbandCensus.com, a sister web site to the news on broadband stimulus, wireless and the national broadband plan published on BroadbandBreakfast.com, has consistently urged that disclosure of the FCC’s Form 477 database would provide policy-makers and the general public with greater knowledge of broadband availability and competition. For a commentary about the public notice on BroadbandCensus.com, click here.

The FCC traditionally uses just such a “public notice” to alert providers to the possible disclosure of information in the Form 477 database. Following a lawsuit by the Center for Public Integrity filed on September 25, 2006, the FCC issued the following public notice “to service providers who filed FCC Form 477s with the Commission and sought confidential treatment of the information submitted.”

Further information on the Center for Public Integrity’s lawsuit seeking public access to the Form 477 database is available in this January 2007 piece and in this June 2007 piece.

News of the FCC’s public notice was first reported in StimulatingBroadband.com.

From the information available in the November 25, 2009, public notice, is unclear what information, if any, that NTIA gleans from the Form 477 database will be publicly disclosed.

On the one hand, the NTIA commits, in its letter to the FCC, to “protect confidential and propriety information from public disclosure to the fullest extent authorized by applicable law.”

But on the other hand, changes are coming to the world of broadband data. The very definition of the information that the NTIA has deemed “confidential” for the public of broadband data and mapping has changed dramatically in recent months.

The Notice of Funds Availability for broadband data and mapping, issued July 1, 2009, declared that information about the geographic areas in which providers offered service would be deemed “confidential information.”

Soon after the NoFA was released, the NTIA began to change its approach to confidentiality. In remarks at a forum in Charlottesville, Va., on July 27, NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling said that now was “a new era” for broadband data, including public data about carriers that provide high-speed internet service.

He said that he hoped and expected that carriers will allow information about the areas in which they serve to be made publicly available, as they do in Canada, he said…. Strickling also said that broadband incumbents that seek to challenge broadband applicants who argue that their areas are “underserved” will have to make such information public – and in the same format as the broadband data collection efforts underway nationwide. “We need the data: I think it is a national imperative in which this data be collected,” said Strickling, responding to a question about whether carriers will in fact provide states with the information necessary to create state-level broadband maps.

In addition, Strickling said that he expected carriers to “waive” confidentiality provisions in response to public pressure for data.

These commitments were followed up by a significant course-reversal by the NTIA on August 7, 2009. The agency changed the definition of “confidential” information to allow, and possibly require, the identification of carriers providing broadband service to individual Census blocks. Previously, information about the carriers that serve a particular Census block had been considered proprietary and confidential.

The agency reiterated its position in favor of disclosing carrier identities in its August 17 report to Congress, and in a September 10 press release highlighting the initial broadband data grants. In the Report to Congress, the NTIA said that “it intends to identify all broadband providers by name on the broadband map rather than leaving such identification to the discretion of the provider. These clarifications will help enable NTIA to build a robust, accurate broadband map for the benefit of consumers and policymakers.”

In response to questions from Broadband Census News in September, NTIA spokesman Mark Tolbert underscored that the recipients of broadband mapping grants are now required to collect and to publish this carrier information at the Census block level. “Applicants have always been required to collect and provide to NTIA the names of the providers at the address/Census block/street segment level (whichever level they collect at),” Tolbert said.

“As stated in the NoFA, ‘Applicants must provide a description of how the States broadband data will be publicly accessible, clearly presented, and easily understood by the public, government and the research community. Applicants must also describe the applicants’ proposed State-level map’,” Tolbert continued.

“Accordingly, NTIA expects that all non-confidential data (and names of providers at a census block/street segment level is not confidential) will be publicly accessible.”

Tolbert said that if a broadband grant recipient refused to collect and publish this data, they risk a de-obligation of funds. He also said that the NTIA will make the carrier-level data, at the Census block level, available to the public as soon it receives the information from the mapping grant recipients.

About Broadband Census News and Broadband Census Data

BroadbandBreakfast.com is published by Broadband Census News LLC, and BroadbandCensus.com has provided news and data about broadband access and deployment since January 2008. Broadband Census Data LLC produces commercial data services for cities, states, carriers, and educational institutions. Read more about us.

BroadbandCensus.com supplements “crowdsourcing” by internet users with a variety of data-collection techniques to create public and transparent broadband maps. BroadbandCensus.com has pioneered the Broadband SPARC: for Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. See its beta map of Columbia, South Carolina at BroadbandCensusMaps.com.

FCC Restricts Disclosure of 'Confidential' and 'Highly Confidential' Information

in Broadband Data/Premium Content by

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2009 – The Federal Communication Commission last week issued an order allowing it to restrict the disclosure of information deemed proprietary or confidential in the creation of a national broadband plan.

Released on October 8, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has adopted this protective order, it said, to serve the public’s interest by “giv[ing] appropriate access to the public,” while at the same time, protecting the confidential information that has been submitted by the individual or the party.

Content available for Paid and Trial Subscribers of BroadbandCensus.com Premium Content. Click here to subscribe.

[private_Premium Content][private_Free Trial]With this, however, the Protective Order does not “constitute a resolution of the merits “of any information that is submitted.” This information, if properly requested, could be potentially release by the Federal Communications Commission under the Freedom of Information Act.

Of what is deemed as confidential, information that has been submitted is fit into two categories: confidential or highly confidential.

Confidential information is information that is submitted for protection, and which is not readily available from public sources, the order says. The FCC retains the right to declare, on its own authority, that such information is not confidential.

Highly confidential information is information that has been submitted under the protection of the FOIA, the FCC’s implement rules, and the Protective Order.  This level of information, which is also not publicly available, consists of “detailed or granular information regarding the location, type, or cost of last-mile infrastructure used by a submitting party to offer broadband service.”

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration recently declared that the identities of carriers offering broadband on a Census-block basis is not confidential, and will not be protected. It was unclear whether the FCC was adopting a similar approach to that of the NTIA in issuing the order.

If any person who wished to use confidential or highly confidential information, can only do so by using this information preparing and conducting the National Broadband Plan. Information that is used for this cannot be used for any other purpose, including “business or commercial purposes, or in other administrative, regulatory or judicial proceedings.”

Before any of the information can be released, a person requesting to obtain the information must go through a process including signing an acknowledgment statement and “file it with the Bureau via the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System.”

Once a person has gained the clearance to receive the confidential or highly confidential information, it will be loaded onto their computer and will be under password protection.  In the Protective Order, it is stressed that the information, if accessible to others may only be used for the “purpose of analysis in connection with this proceeding” pertaining to the National Broadband Plan.

Information is not available to those who have not signed the Acknowledgment Statement.  When this happens, the information will not be sent electronically.  It will be physically sent to the person who is requesting it.

If a person who has requested and properly obtained the confidential or highly confidential information violates any of the terms under the Protective Order, that person must inform the FCC and the submitting party immediately, also they would have to immediately begin taking the “necessary steps to remedy the improper disclosure.” The Commission from there has the authority to give the proper punishment for violating the Protective Order, including suspension of working before the FCC and denying the opportunity to access confidential or highly confidential information.

With the Protective Order, information that is deemed confidential or highly confidential pertaining to the proceeding of a National Broadband Plan, is under great restriction, only giving access to those who have the necessary clearance; A clearance that can only be given if the person who is requesting the information is using it in connection to the National Broadband Plan.

About BroadbandCensus.com

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.[/private_Premium Content][/private_Free Trial]

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NTIA Announces Series of Public Meetings on Broadband Stimulus; Introduces Rick Wade

in Broadband Stimulus/NTIA by

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2009 – Rick C. Wade, a senior advisor in the presidential campaign of Barack Obama and currently the acting chief of staff for the Commerce Department, will be one of three featured speakers at the broadband stimulus public meeting next Tuesday.

Wade, who was in South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges’ cabinet before joining the Obama campaign, has been serving on the president’s 10-person Task Force on the Auto Industry for the past two weeks.

According to a Friday press release by the NTIA, Wade – together with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps – “will announce a series of meetings that will give the public an opportunity to ask questions about and provide comment on the program.”

Wade received a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina and Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, where he was also a Kennedy Fellow, and has studied theology in Atlanta and in Washington.

Wade’s inclusion on the program bumps the spot that had been allocated to Mark Seifert, who was – on a previous program – listed as a “Senior Advisor” to NTIA.

Seifert worked as deputy chief of the FCC’s Common Carrier Bureau – which is now known as the Wireline Competition Bureau – and has been on the staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

On Feb. 17, President Obama signed the fiscal stimulus package, which includes $7.2 billion for broadband funding. Of that total, $4.7 billion will flow through NTIA, and $2.5 billion will flow through the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service. The FCC has the responsibility to craft a national broadband strategy.

The much-anticipated March 10 meeting is the first public showcase of the administration’s evolving agenda for spending the stimulus funds.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to speak for the administration by laying out “President Obama’s Broadband Strategy,” followed by Copps and then by Wade.

According to the NTIA press release, the broadband initiatives funded in the fiscal stimulus legislation, “are intended to accelerate broadband deployment in unserved, underserved and rural areas and to strategic institutions that are likely to create jobs or provide significant public benefits.”

The remainder of the time is broken up into a discussion of “statutory requirement and timelines.”

That discussion will be led by Bernadette McGuire-Rivera, associate administrator at NTIA; David Villano, assistant administrator for telecommunications programs, USDA Rural Development; and Scott M. Deutchman, acting senior legal advisor to Acting Chairman Copps, at the FCC.

There will also be opportunity for public comment at the meeting. The NTIA press release emphasizes that the March 10 meeting is merely the first of a series of public meetings on the program.

Another change in the program, albeit cosmetic: Anna Gomez, the Acting Administrator of the NTIA, is listed as the “host” of the event. Gomez, who was also named Deputy Assistant Secretary in the NTIA (and, as the highest-level person in the agenda, is considering “acting” administrator).

Currently, there is no Commerce secretary, nor an assistant secretary and administrator of the NTIA. Last week Obama named Gary Locke, the former governor of Washington, as his cabinet-level designee. Although the White House has yet to name an NTIA head, sources and published reports say that Larry Strickland, Obama policy advisor and former FCC Common Carrier Bureau Chief, tops the list of candidates.

Gomez, a former official with Sprint-Nextel, has focused her recent efforts and comments on the transition to digital television. To date, Bernadette McGuire-Rivera, head of the NTIA’s Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications, and associate administrator of NTIA, has been taking the lead in explaining NTIA’s approach to broadband stimulus funding.

Broadband Census Resources

Broadband Breakfast Club

March Meeting: Broadband Competition: Do We Have It, and How Do We Get More of It?

BroadbandCensus.com presents the March meeting of the Broadband Breakfast Club at Old Ebbitt Grill on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 8 a.m. Because of the Commerce Department/Agriculture Department/FCC Public Meeting on broadband stimulus from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Broadband Breakfast Club will adjourn at 9:30 a.m.

  • NEW! – James Baller, President of Baller Herbst Law Group, will provide a brief summary of the progress of the U.S. Broadband Coalition
  • Art Brodsky, Communication Director, Public Knowledge
  • Kathleen Ham, Vice President, Federal Regulatory, T-Mobile USA
  • Brent Olson, Assistant Vice President, Public Policy, AT&T
  • Emmett O’Keefe, Director, Federal Public Policy, Amazon.com
  • Scott Wallsten, Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute

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