FCC Chairman Touts Broadcaster Support for Spectrum Plan

Without naming specific broadcasters, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said there is support for the commission's plan to auction off broadcast spectrum in return for a share of the profits.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski expressed confidence that major U.S. television broadcasters were open to the FCC's plan to auction off their spectrum contracts in exchange for a percentage of the profits, according to Reuters.

"We've certainly heard from a number of broadcasters who have told us that this is a promising direction and (they) are getting ready to roll up their sleeves with us," the news organization reported Genachowski saying. "We've developed a plan that is a real win-win for all involved. We've every expectation it will work."
The statement comes as the FCC readies its National Broadband Plan for Congress this week, where the commission will set an agenda for connecting all corners of the nation to a modern broadband infrastructure. Entitled "Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan," the FCC found that while broadband access and use have increased over the past decade, the nation must do much more to connect all individuals and the economy to broadband's benefits. The Plan's call for action over the next decade includes connecting 100 million households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second service.

For an analysis of the FCC broadband plan, please click here.

Other goals including bringing affordable broadband to rural communities, schools, libraries, and vulnerable populations, promoting competition across the broadband ecosystem through greater transparency, and removing barriers to entry as well as conducting market-based analysis with quality data on price, speed, and availability.

Last week, the FCC launched two digital tools, the Consumer Broadband Test and the Broadband Dead Zone Report, which allow consumers to test their broadband service and report areas where broadband is not available.
Internet service provider and communications giant Verizon released a statement from Tom Tauke, the company's executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, expressing strong support for the the deployment of broadband facilities and adoption by all Americans.

"We are encouraged by the call to reform the policies that subsidize some companies' telecommunications services so the policies are focused on the technologies of the 21st century," he said. "The plan also properly focuses on identifying the barriers to swift deployment and adoption and proposing recommendations to remove or overcome those barriers."
Tauke said Verizon would 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.

"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," he said. "Now comes the hard part: achieving the vision articulated in this plan."