The Federal Communications Commission today said it is seeking public comment on the best way to support its efforts to ensure universal access to high-speed broadband services while promoting innovation, investment, competition and protecting consumers.
A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals derailed prior understandings about the FCC’s ability to ensure fair competition and provide consumers with basic protections when using broadband Internet services.
The FCC said its Notice of Inquiry for public comment begins the process of implementing key recommendations of the National Broadband Plan, including broadband deployment and adoption, ensuring consumers have access to information about their broadband services, customer privacy, access for people with disabilities, as well as preserving the open Internet.
"Let’s not pretend that the problems with the state of broadband in America don’t exist; let’s not pretend that the risk of excessive regulation is not real, or, at the other extreme, that the absence of basic protections for competition and consumers is acceptable," said FCC Chairman Genachowski.
"Instead, let’s put rhetoric and posturing aside, and work together to solve the problem created by the court case, so that we can rise together to the major 21st century challenges of achieving U.S. world leadership in broadband and innovation, fostering sustainable economic growth and job creation, and bringing the benefits of broadband to all Americans."
Comments from the public are due on July 15, 2010, and reply comments are due on August 12, 2010. The Notice of Inquiry, as well as instructions for parties wishing to provide comments to the FCC, will be available at broadband.gov.