Genachowski Talks Broadband Task Force, Regulatory Changes

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Photo:

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski is getting serious about his agency’s commitment to wider adoption of broadband.

At an FCC broadband forum earlier this week, Genachowski said a comprehensive broadband policy is a “BFD,” according to a report in The Hill.

From there, Genachowski focused his remarks on reducing inefficiency and burdensome regulations that often slow the wider adoption of broadband technology, he said.

He later told The Hill local and state regulations often hinder deployment: for example, the requirement that telecom companies get the “regulatory OK” before deploying equipment, such as cell towers.

The chairman also tied FCC’s scaling back of regulations to wider efforts by the Obama administration, saying his agency’s plans were “consistent with the principles of looking carefully at regulatory barriers [and the] benefits and burdens of regulation in this area,” The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, he also announced the creation of an FCC task force to find ways to remove barriers, including regulatory ones, to broadband development.

The goal is to reduce the time it takes to develop and deploy broadband by 20 percent, according to a FierceWireless report.

In other broadband news, FCC will also vote soon on what FierceWireless called “potentially far-reaching reforms,” to the Universal Service Fund. The original premise of the $8 billion programs was to provide telecommunications services to rural areas. But, FCC could vote to change the mission to one of broadband deployment more generally.

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