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FCC Previews National Broadband Plan Ideas

The FCC has unveiled some of its preliminary recommendations as it develops a national broadband plan.

The agency must deliver the full strategy to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010. FCC officials were handed the task early this year as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

So far, the FCC has identified 10 major areas ripe for change: the USF; infrastructure access; spectrum allocations; tribal lands; set-top boxes; consumer information; media; broadband adoption; accessibility for the disabled; and public safety.

The USF proposal, for example, would subsidize broadband access for remote and low-income households. The new report also suggests it may be necessary to reallocate some spectrum held by TV broadcasters and federal agencies.

Most of the ideas came as no surprise, but that hasn’t kept certain factions from expressing their anger. Some public interest groups, for instance, say the proposed plans still favor the big providers, AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp.


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