David Kirkpatrick

March 4, 2010

National Broadband Plan seeks $25B

The United States lags in broadband access, plus infrastructure investment of this nature is an investment in the future of the nation. An example of good government spending.

From the link:

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski’s coming National Broadband Plan will propose up to $25 billion in new federal spending for high-speed Internet lines and a wireless network for police and firefighters as part of a broader plan that appears to be a win for wireless companies.

July 16, 2009

Google, New America Foundation and public opinion on the National Broadband Plan

A release from today’s inbox:

For Immediate Release

July 16, 2009 

 
As part of the economic stimulus legislation (ARRA), Congress charged the FCC with creating a National Broadband Plan by next February.
 
The Commission has called for “maximum civic engagement” in developing a broadband strategy, reflecting input from all stakeholders.  Initial comments have been filed and now it’s the public’s turn to contribute their views and ideas.
 
To encourage public input, the New America Foundation is joining forces with Google to launch a Google Moderator page to aggregate public opinion on this critical policy issue. Google Moderator provides the general public with a forum to submit and vote on ideas you think the Commission should include in its National Broadband Plan.
 
After two weeks, Google and NAF will take the most popular and most innovative ideas and submit them to the official record at the FCC on your behalf.
 
We hope you will post your views on Google Moderator – and also forward this to your contacts and constituents. 
 
We can all help answer the FCC’s call for input from stakeholders ‘outside the beltway,’ including “industry, American consumers; large and small businesses; federal, state, local, and tribal governments; and disabled communities.”  
 
Among the key elements of a national broadband plan under consideration:
 

  • The most effective and efficient ways to ensure ubiquitous broadband access for all Americans;
  • Strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services;
  • Evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, including the progress of related grant programs;
  • How to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy efficiency, education, worker training, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and other national purposes.

As Commissioner Michael Copps noted, “Broadband can be the great enabler that . . . opens doors of opportunity for all Americans to pass through, no matter who they are, where they live, or the particular circumstances of their individual lives.”  A national broadband plan promises far-reaching consequences for economic growth and equal opportunity across all sectors for decades to come.
 
You can join the discussion at: http://moderator.appspot.com/#16/e=a4977 

New America’s Wireless Future Program develops and advocates policy proposals aimed at achieving universal and affordable wireless broadband access, expanding public access to the airwaves and updating our nation’s communications infrastructure in the digital era. For more information, visit http://www.newamerica.net/programs/wireless_future.
About the New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.

June 26, 2009

Broadband access news from New America Foundation

Hot from the inbox, here’s a set of links from the New America Foundation on spectrum scarcity (or lack thereof) and broadband access. Lots to ponder from a very useful think tank.

As the FCC begins its year-long process to recommend a National Broadband Plan, one starting point is to unlock publicly-owned spectrum assets that can facilitate ubiquitous, affordable broadband access.  Public policy seems stymied by the myth that spectrum is scarce. In reality, only government permission to access the airwaves (licenses) is scarce – spectrum capacity itself is barely used in most locations and at most times. This underutilized spectrum represents enormous, untapped,capacity for pervasive broadband connectivity.  

  

On Thursday, June 25th, New America’s Wireless Future Program released four new papers outlining several technology and policy reforms to enable dynamic, opportunistic access to these underutilized spectrum resources:

 

The End of Spectrum Scarcity: Building on the TV Bands Database to Access Unused Public Airwaves

By Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future Program

 

This paper recommends that the Obama administration and the FCC make mapping and actively facilitating opportunistic access to unused and underutilized frequency bands a priority as part of any national broadband policy through: 1) A White House-led initiative to conduction an Inventory of the Airwaves that maps how our public spectrum resource is being utilized or underutilized in various bands, by both commercial and government users; 2) build on the TV Bands Database to include frequency bands not being used at particular locations or times;  and, 3) commence a set of inquiries into the technologies, incentives, institutional arrangements and “rules of the road” that can best facilitate a future of more open, intensive and opportunistic sharing of the nation’s spectrum resource.

  

You can read the paper here.

 

Revitalizing the Public Airwaves: Opportunistic Unlicensed Reuse of Government Spectrum

By Victor Pickard and Sascha D. Meinrath, Director, Open Technology Initiative  

 

The paper proposes a “third way” for the airwaves: opportunistic reuse of government spectrum on an open and unlicensed basis.  One-time auctions are no longer the best way to ensure the advancement of new technologies and expanded broadband access for underserved areas. The paper concludes with a series of policy recommendations for implementing opportunistic reuse of government spectrum. By exploring models for spectrum management that take advantage of technological innovations, the paper aims to initiate a policy debate on spectrum reforms with profound implications for the future of communications.  


You can read the paper here.

 

New Approaches to Private Sector Sharing of Federal Government Spectrum  

By Michael J. Marcus, Principal, Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC 

 

Although the military currently shares radar bands with users of low-power, unlicensed devices, it does so in a overly limited and entirely passive way. Advances in spectrum sharing technologies allow more intensive and efficient sharing of underutilized federal bands with the private sector — and among federal agencies — if only the government would adopt a more affirmative policy and upgrade its technologies and protocols.  Unfortunately, the current federal spectrum management system provides little incentive to allow sharing of existing federal spectrum.    


You can read the paper here.

 

A Potential Alliance for World-Wide Dynamic Spectrum Access: DSA as an Enabler of National Dynamic Spectrum Management

By Preston F. Marshall, Director, Information Sciences Institute, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC and Former Program Manager, DARPA‘s NeXt Generation Communications 

 

The paper describes how Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technologies can greatly benefit incumbent federal and non-federal spectrum users – and are a win-win for the military in particular. Marshall highlights four erroneous preconceptions about DSA that create unnecessary resistance among spectrum incumbents who could benefit from moving to a more dynamic and networked approach to spectrum access. In particular, while there is tension between the advocates and military authorities in considering sharing spectrum within the United States, there may be mutual interest in obtaining access for DSA devices internationally.  Marshall also urges advocates of dynamic spectrum access to  adopt a more nuanced approach that does not seek to supplant spectrum management nor incumbents.

 

You can read the paper here.

 

The Wireless Future Program also hosted a companion event, with a panel of experts including the above authors, along with Wharton School Professor Kevin Werbach, who co-led the Obama Administration’s FCC Transition review,  and Tom Stroup, CEO of Shared Spectrum Company.

 

You can download audio and video from the event here.

 

 

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New America’s Wireless Future Program develops and advocates policy proposals aimed at achieving universal and affordable wireless broadband access, expanding public access to the airwaves and updating our nation’s communications infrastructure in the digital era. For more information, visit http://www.newamerica.net/programs/wireless_future.

About the New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.