Verizon backs the FCC as NBP is presented to congress

16 Mar 2010

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to present its much-anticipated national broadband plan (NBP) to Congress, leading telco Verizon communications has voiced its support for the regulator’s aims. Yesterday FCC chairman Julius Genachowski spoke to the Associated Press to outline the key aims of the NBP, which include: bringing affordable high speed internet to all Americans nationwide; redistributing frequency spectrum to facilitate the wide deployment of wireless data services; connecting 100 million households to broadband connections of 100Mbps by 2020; providing every American community with at least one ‘anchor institution’ – such as a school, library or hospital – with an ultra high speed (at least 1Gbps) internet point of access; and encouraging broadband takeup, aiming to increase broadband penetration to over 90%.

In response to the summary Verizon executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, Tom Tauke, said: ‘Verizon strongly supports the emphasis in the NBP on the deployment of broadband facilities and adoption by all Americans. To that end, we are encouraged by the call to reform the policies that subsidise some companies’ telecommunications services so the policies are focused on the technologies of the 21st century. The plan also properly focuses on identifying the barriers to swift deployment and adoption and proposing recommendations to remove or overcome those barriers. Chairman Genachowski; Blair Levin, the executive director of the National Broadband Taskforce; and the commission staff should be commended for comprehensively addressing the array of broadband issues and developing a coherent plan. Now comes the hard part: achieving the vision articulated in this plan. Verizon will review the plan when text is available, and continue to work closely and cooperatively with the FCC and Congress to help meet the nation’s broadband policy goals. It is clear that virtually all of these important goals will be achieved through private investment. So it is important that the policies enacted encourage investment and innovation across the internet ecosystem.’

The FCC has been in the process of developing the NBP since April 2009, the plan, as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was initially expected to be completed by 17 February 2010, but, as reported by CommsUpdate on 12 January 2010, the FCC delayed submission by one month as the FCC sought additional input from industry stakeholders.