BROADBAND PLAN'S WORKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KEY NATIONAL PRIORITIES UNVEILED
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
February 18, 2010
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
BROADBAND PLAN’S WORKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
KEY NATIONAL PRIORITIES UNVEILED
Plans Shows How Broadband Can Transform Key Sectors to Provide Better Quality of Life
Washington, D.C. -- Working recommendations meant to bring the innovative force of
broadband to healthcare, education, energy and the environment, government, public safety and
homeland security, job training, and small business were unveiled today at a meeting of the
Federal Communications Commission.
With the deadline for delivering a National Broadband Plan to Congress on March 17 less than a
month away, the team developing the plan highlighted elements under consideration in the
“national purposes” section of the plan. The working recommendations are designed to support
America’s competitive advantages in key sectors of the economy and society.
Government plays a major role in these sectors as policymaker, buyer, or supplier, but its
policies have often inhibited or failed to provide incentives for investment in and innovative use
of broadband. The working recommendations presented today are intended to integrate
broadband into the country’s priorities and deliver to consumers high-quality healthcare, world-
class education, smarter energy tools, 21st century jobs, greater public safety, more opportunities
for civic engagement, and a better quality of life.
Key themes include using broadband to foster innovative approaches to intractable problems.
Broadband can help the country achieve better results in important areas by facilitating the flow
of information; removing barriers of time and space; and making data accessible for research,
applications, and decision-making, all while protecting privacy.
Following are some of the key challenges and working recommendations to address them by
subject area. More detail can be found in the presentation made to the Commission, which is
posted at http://reboot.fcc.gov/open-meetings/2010/february.
PROVIDING JOBS AND CREATING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
Challenge:The current job training system is fragmented and difficult to expand or contract
to accommodate changing demands for service.
Solutions:Accelerate efforts to deliver employment assistance, including job training and
placement services, on a scalable online platform.
Challenge:Small businesses are less likely to use broadband to increase productivity.
Solutions:Launch public-private partnership to expand efforts to provide technology
training for small and disadvantaged businesses.
IMPROVING HEALTHCARE AND CONTROLLING COSTS
Challenge:Remote monitoring of vital signs and electronic health records could save $700
billion over 15-25 years, but the U.S. lags in health IT adoption.
Solutions:Create conditions for broader adoption and innovation in e-care technologies;
reduce regulatory barriers to increase access to care.
Challenge:Many healthcare providers lack broadband connections or pay high prices.
Solutions:Ensure all providers have access to affordable broadband by transforming the
Rural Health Care Program to subsidize both ongoing costs and network deployment, while
expanding the definition of eligible providers.
PROVIDING MORE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND IMPROVING
Challenge:While 97% percent of public elementary and secondary schools have Internet
access, speeds are insufficient.
Solution:Upgrade E-rate program to provide additional connectivity, flexibility and
Challenge:Online learning can reduce time required to learn by half and increase course
completion rates, but there are barriers to wider adoption.
Solutions:Remove regulatory barriers to online learning; increase supply of digital content
and online learning systems; promote digital literacy for students and teachers.
PROMOTING ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND EFFICIENCY
Challenge:The intermittency of renewable power and the increased loads from electric
vehicles will strain the current electric grid, unless we modernize the grid with broadband
and advanced communications.
Solutions:Ensure that broadband is integrated into the smart grid by promoting and
improving commercial broadband networks, better coordinating and standardizing private
utility networks, and enabling partnerships with public safety networks. A smart grid can
reduce greenhouse gasses from electricity generation by up to 12% by 2030.
Challenge:Consumers lack access to and control of their own digital energy data
to understand and manage their energy use, which limits the innovation potential and energy
savings of smarter homes and smarter buildings.
Solutions:Ensure consumers have access to and privacy of real-time and historical digital
energy information through changes to state and federal policies.
ENHANCING GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE & INCREASING CIVIC
Challenge:The government lags in adoption of Internet technologies, hindering quality of
service and civic engagement.
Solutions:Release more government data on digital platforms; enable citizen-centric online
services; encourage greater use of social media.
Challenge:Federal assets not used effectively to spur local adoption and deployment of
Solutions:Have federal buildings serve as anchor tenants for unserved and underserved
communities; encourage greater coordination in broadband grants; open federal NETWORX
contract to state and local governments.
INCREASING PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY
Challenge:First responders lack a nationwide interoperable broadband wireless network
dedicated to the provision of public safety services.
Solutions:Enable the construction and operation of an interoperable nationwide broadband
wireless public safety network with appropriate capacity and resiliency, leveraging
commercial technology; creation of an Emergency Response Interoperability Center to
ensure nationwide interoperability; and appropriation of grant funding for network
construction, operation and evolution.
Challenge:Transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 networks and emergency alerting is
hampered by a lack of intergovernmental coordination, as well as jurisdictional, legal and
Solutions:Promote innovation in the development and deployment of the Next Generation
of 9-1-1 networks and emergency alerting systems by fully embracing broadband
technologies and ensuring that coordination, jurisdictional, legal and funding impediments
--FCC--The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National
Broadband Plan to Congress that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and
the use of broadband to advance solutions to national priorities. More information about
development of the National Broadband Plan can be found at www.broadband.gov
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