FCC Chair Insists Broadband Plan Has Broadcaster Support


The crux of the FCC's plan is to bring 100 Mbps broadband connections to more than 100 million U.S. households by the end of the decade, and make the percentage of U.S. homes with access to broadband 90 percent. According to the FCC, more than 14 million U.S. homes don't have any available access to broadband, let alone the 100 million that don't have subscriptions.

Part of successfully doing so means convincing television broadcasters like ABC, CBS and NBC, and their parent companies, to give up some of their unused broadband -- about 120 Mhz in total -- and let the government sell that broadband at auction. Many observers have suggested that unless broadcasters are well compensated by the proceeds stemming from that auction, the broadcasters won't support the FCC.

Genachowski told Reuters and other news outlets late Monday that the FCC had "heard from a number of broadcasters that this is a promising direction." According to Genachowski, that group of broadcasters will "roll up their sleeves" to support the FCC, even though, according to the news service, Genachowski declined to identify by name any of the broadcasters that had expressed support.

Genachowski also suggested to Reuters that the FCC has learned its lesson on broadband auction sales following its failed attempt to auction off the so-called D-block band -- another section of the spectrum -- for what at the time were considered too many restrictions for broadcasters to want to own it.

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The broadband battle in government hasn't stopped a number of the country's top technology vendors from moving to capitalize on the need for higher and broader broadband connectivity. For example, Google said last month it would begin experimenting with fiber-optic broadband able to supply 1 Gbps Internet to up to 500,000 U.S. homes, and that was just for starters.

In addition, Cisco hasn't shied away from the speed and connectivity spotlight, having earlier this week debuted a new carrier router, CRS-3, that Cisco says offers 12 times the traffic capacity as the nearest competing system.