FCC's Genachowski Planning Heavily Broadband Response to Wednesday Hearing

By Steve Anderson May 16, 2012

The FCC's Chairman, Julius Genachowski, has a lot on his mind for his upcoming hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee this Wednesday, and based on his opening statement, it's all about the broadband...well, almost.

Study of the opening statement in question reveals that he uses the word "broadband" no less than 18 times during the statement, and the word "wireless" fully nine, while the word "broadcast" almost never figures into the picture except to briefly make a point about television "white spaces" in which broadcast spectrum has become available for unlicensed devices. Also somewhat related to broadcast is the mention of plans to use "incentive auctions" to offer up large quantities of broadcast spectrum, though even here, the target of that offering is almost certainly not going to be television related, but rather related to mobile data users.

Genachowski further goes on to state that communications technology is central to major important political themes like creating jobs, making the United States as a whole more competitive with the rest of the world, improving health care and public safety, and giving consumers more power in the marketplace. Recent reports peg the United States as 12th on a list in terms of broadband connectivity measuring over 5 Mbps in speed, so it's clear that there's a lag going on in terms of the rest of the world.

With much being made about net neutrality, bandwidth throttling, outright caps and more of late, there's quite a bit going on in the bandwidth market. Sadly, not much of it is good news for consumers who want access to data, music, video, games and the like in as rapid a fashion as possible regardless of the time of day. Consumers would no doubt welcome an FCC stance on the issues that involves getting consumers more bandwidth, and doing so in more places.

Considering further that this is an election year, an initiative to bring broadband Internet service to more parts of the country -- many rural areas, for example, have minimal access to high speed Internet access, and then often only by satellite -- may well play well with the voting public who isn't exactly enchanted with any branch of the current administration.

Potential motivation aside, Genachowski's remarks can easily be seen as a good thing overall, especially if they result in improved internet access for the public, who in many cases, is actively craving better speeds and higher -- if any -- caps.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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