The FCC issues a public notice asking for feedback on broadband issues concerning small business owners.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski
announced the next step in advancing the agency's small business
broadband agenda, part of a broader FCC plan which includes connecting
communities to broadband through the Universal Service Fund, promoting
mobile connectivity by unleashing more spectrum, and, in partnership
with the Small Business Administration, training small businesses to
use digital tools to reach wider markets and improve their operations.
Speaking to a crowd of top eBay sellers this week in Washington,
D.C., Genachowski said the FCC will issue a Public Notice to
help improve the FCC's understanding of business broadband needs, a key
recommendation in the National Broadband Plan. "We know that technology
can give us a bright economic future--if we have the right
infrastructure and policies in place," Genachowski said.
Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on questions including what
transmission services, technologies or types of facilities are used in
the business broadband marketplace are relevant to a full understanding
of the marketplace and what the overall size of the business broadband
marketplace is today in terms of revenues and demand.
The Public Notice stated the FCC understands that optical fiber
facilities are increasingly being used for higher-capacity offerings,
but that legacy copper facilities (with or without higher-layer
communication protocols), co-axial cable facilities, and wireless
spectrum remain highly desirable transmission media that are used in a
wide variety of circumstances.
The Commission said it has also consistently recognized that business
customers who are buying specialized, high-capacity services demand-and
are often willing to pay a premium for-flexible and guaranteed
quality offerings, and that as a result providers treat them
differently from residential customers in the products they offer, the
way they market and sell these products, and the prices they charge.
"The technology sector, which accounts for one-sixth of our economy and
an even higher percentage of economic growth, will be critical to our
nation's economic recovery," he continued. "That is why we are
aggressively pursuing policies to lay a foundation for long-term
economic growth, and catalyze private investment and job creation,
particularly among small business."
The FCC's notice summarized that it seeks to ensure that the
organization's understanding of broadband business markets, including
current trends in and any issues with those markets, is thorough. The
goal, the notice said, is to ensure that businesses realize the maximum
benefits of broadband services and competition. The FCC terms the
business broadband marketplace as including both retail and wholesale
offerings, and said it requires policies that enable competitive retail
markets, incentives for investments in facilities, and access where
competitive infrastructure cannot be economically deployed.
"In this Public Notice, we take a first step to address this issue by
seeking to ensure that the Commission has a thorough understanding of
the business broadband marketplace," the notice explained. "To that
end, we seek comment from business broadband providers, business
broadband customers and any other interested parties regarding the
current state of, and trends and issues in, business broadband