Chairman Wheeler's Response Regarding Broadband Deployment
W A SHINGTON
OFF IC E OF
May 29, 2014
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
United States Senate
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Klobuchar:
Thank you for your letter regarding the Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband
deployment proposals that were submitted by thirty-nine entities from Minnesota. I appreciate
your views and will ensure that your letter will be included in the record of the proceeding and
considered as part of the Commission's review.
In its unanimously adopted Technology Transitions Order (Order) in January, the
Commission recognized that particular challenges exist for the deployment of next generation
communications services in rural areas. In order to inform our policies on building next
generation networks in rural America, the Commission invited proposals parties to submit
expressions of interest to determine whether there is interest into constructing high bandwidth
networks in rural, high-cost areas, including Tribal lands.
As you note, a diverse set of entities have filed nearly 1,000 expressions of interest,
including rural telephone companies, electric co-ops, cable and wireless Internet service
providers, schools and libraries, research and education networks, and rural communities. The
proposals reflect the understanding that high bandwidth services are becoming increasingly
important to the future of economic development, education, health care, government services,
entertainment, information, communication and creativity.
The Commission currently is reviewing the expressions of interest that have been
submitted, and we have sought public comment on a number of rural broadband experiment
issues, including the size of the budget and selection criteria to be used in reviewing proposals.
After completing a review of the submissions and the record in response to our Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission would adopt an Order setting a budget and establishing
detailed selection criteria for rural broadband experiments. At that point, we would invite
parties, such as the Minnesota entities you reference, to submit formal proposals for
consideration by Commission staff.
I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further
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