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Technical Advisory Council Issues Technology Policy Recommendations to Spur Jobs, Innovation

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Released: April 26, 2011



April 22, 2011


Chairman Genachowski
Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn and Baker


Tom Wheeler, Chairman, Technical Advisory Council


Technical Advisory Council Chairman's Report
On November 4, 2010, Chairman Genachowski convened the first meeting of the FCC's 5th Technical
Advisory Council (TAC) under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. I have had the
honor of serving as the Chair of this Council, which has been charged to "identify important areas of
innovation and develop informed technology policies supporting America's competitiveness and job
creation in the global economy."
After its formation, the TAC moved quickly to identify topics for in-depth work and investigation through
four working groups:

Critical Transitions

Broadband Infrastructure Deployment


Sharing Opportunities
At a meeting on March 30th, the four working groups reported back a variety of ideas to the full TAC for
further discussion and ratification. At the meeting's conclusion, the TAC selected eight of the best ideas
to recommend to the Chairman and Commissioners as near term opportunities for promoting innovation,
competition, and job creation in the technology sector. Other ideas were targeted for further effort by the
TAC and will continue to be considered through the working groups and at future TAC meetings with the
goal of producing further recommendations.
In selecting these eight recommendations, described below, the TAC considered not only the potential for
economic development and job creation, but also which actions that could have the greatest near-term
impact on our Nation's economic condition. Each recommendation is an opportunity for the FCC to
unleash new private sector innovation and job creation, without working through traditional regulatory
processes. By acting on these recommendations, the FCC can promote competition, foster industry best
practices, and encourage executive action in order to help innovators, small businesses, and local
governments pursue new economic development and job growth.


1. Municipal Race-to-the-Top program. The FCC should sponsor a Race-to-the-Top-style
awards/recognition program to identify a list of cities with the best practices in terms of
broadband infrastructure deployment. The "Broadband City USA" contest could provide top
rankings for cities and towns based on being the most broadband-friendly in terms of
infrastructure planning, accommodation, and permitting/approvals processes. Cities and towns
would have an incentive to compete for this designation, making it a tool to further new
investment and economic development. The FCC could also use this program as an opportunity
to highlight a host of best identified practices for broadband infrastructure deployment, including
model city "rights of way" codes.

2. Broadband Infrastructure Executive Order. The FCC should formally request that the
President issue an Executive Order on broadband infrastructure deployment on federal land and
in federal buildings. The Executive Order would mandate the following for Federal rights of way
and antenna siting approvals:

Single document format for permitting

Single federal agency to coordinate the permit approval process

Sixty day time frame for approvals
Such an Executive Order would place the Federal government in a position to advance network
deployment and resiliency in communities with Federal buildings, especially urban areas where
network congestion is most acute. In addition, this Executive Order could advance the
development of micro cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and other innovative broadband
infrastructure, demonstrating a path for growth in this market.
3. Advocacy for Rapid Tower Siting. The FCC should propose that states and municipalities
employ a shortened "shot clock" for co-locations on existing structures or permit co-location "by
right" - absent special circumstances. The TAC has identified several impediments to tower
siting processes which could be overcome through updates to state and local procedures,

Inconsistent and non-concurrent time frames for environmental assessments

Redundant requirements for co-location applications

Repetitive rejection of incomplete applications without identification of deficiencies.
Expediting the process for tower siting could have an important impact on the development of
local broadband access in communities, boosting their marketability to new employers and
network access for local entrepreneurs. If states and municipalities do not agree to expedite co-
location approvals, the Commission should express its willingness to proceed with a new, shorter
"shot clock" rule for co-locations.
4. Best Practices/Technology Outreach to State and Local Governments. The FCC should
begin a dialogue with states and municipalities about proven new technologies for efficiently
deploying broadband (e.g., micro-trenching, DAS equipment on city light poles, directional
boring). The Commission should host a "road show" or series of workshops highlighting best
identified practices with new technologies. This road show, in combination with leadership on
the federal level through the Executive Order (See recommendation #1), can help accelerate the
development of this new market for network infrastructure.
5. Model an Online Deployment Coordination System. The TAC believes that timely access to
underground facilities has a direct bearing on infrastructure costs and deployment. The FCC
should develop a "white label," web-based communication tool that can be adopted and labeled
as their own by localities to provide advance notification of planned infrastructure projects. Such
a web-based capacity would allow all those who must excavate rights-of-way to coordinate
openings (i.e., "dig once") and thus speed deployment and reduce costs and civic disruption. Any
state or municipality could voluntarily use the FCC model to implement its own "reverse one-
call" system to provide notification of new infrastructure projects.
6. New Metrics to Measure Broadband Network Quality. The TAC believes that, for some
usage models, developing metrics beyond throughput speed to measure the quality of Internet

Protocol (IP) broadband networks is important for helping the IP ecosystem flourish by enabling
"extended" quality standards that can support the subset of applications that require not only fast,
but precise, timely and reliable broadband networks. Simply measuring broadband networks by
throughput speed does not provide a full picture nor set sufficient performance parameters to
support uses with "extended" quality requirements such as healthcare monitoring, emergency
services, alarms, etc. Although network services that meet such extended criteria may not be
offered by all service providers, or included in all service plans, it would be beneficial to have
common metrics for them.
Additionally, in transitioning to IP based networks the TAC will be identifying how reliability
can be characterized in a multi-modal environment -where reliability is provided by having many
alternate paths, means and/or modes of communications. The FCC should initiate the steps
necessary for determining how this aspect of the transition will impact the basic architecture of
emergency services.
7. Highlight Stranded PSTN Investments. Network providers have huge investments in existing
PSTN infrastructure including copper wire, switches, pole space, and software. Although new
information services are designed for IP networks, many homes and businesses still use devices
that depend on specific characteristics of the PSTN (e.g., auto-dialers, alarm systems, ATMs, PoS
terminals). These services and devices will have to be replaced and the accompanying
construction and inspection "codes" revised. The TAC will be creating an inventory of such
services. We would recommend that the FCC highlight this concern and initiate a public dialogue
so that the technology and know-how for replacing such services is widely disseminated.
The TAC in the coming months will conduct a further technical analysis of the potential short
term, and low cost transitions of this legacy infrastructure, including new, IP-enabled devices and
the use of traditional copper lines for high speed, high quality broadband.
8. Promote Small Cell Deployment. Small cell deployments have the ability to greatly increase
spectral efficiency to meet demands of increasing teledensity. The FCC, with the participation of
other relevant agencies (e.g., General Services Administration) should convene an industry-led
group (e.g., providers, vendors, standards groups, and building owners) to discuss ways to
accelerate the deployment of small cell wireless devices (i.e., femtocells, DAS, Wi-Fi) in
commercial and government buildings and other high teledensity venues. Accelerating this
deployment would meet growing market demand for mobile broadband in dense, urban areas and
potentially create new employment for design, installation, and operation of wireless systems.
Two ideas in particular that should be explored: (1) development of "universal architectures" for
picocells, femtocells, etc., perhaps leveraging convergence around LTE, so that multiple
providers using multiple spectrum bands could be served from a single device; and (2) creation of
a new "small cell band" spectrum allocation, conceptually a hybrid between licensed and
unlicensed spectrum, in which property owners and/or mobile broadband providers would have
the ability to freely deploy networks to offload broadband services from other networks with
assurances of interference protection from neighboring users.


Technical Advisory Council Chairman

Tom Wheeler, Core Capital Partners

Technical Advisory Council Members

Shahid Ahmed, Accenture
Gregory Lapin, American Radio Relay League
Mark Bayliss, Virginia ISP Association
Richard Lynch, Verizon
Nomi Bergman, Bright House Networks
Paul Mankiewich, Juniper Networks
Peter Bloom, General Atlantic
John Marinho, Dell
Vinton Cerf, Google
Brian Markwalter, Consumer Electronics
John Chapin, Wireless Innovation Forum
kc claffy, Cooperative Assoc. for Internet Data
Geoffrey Mendenhall, Harris Corporation
Wesley Clark, Wesley K. Clark and Associates
Randy Nicklas, XO Communications
Lynn Claudy, National Assoc. of Broadcasters
Hilton Nicholson, SIXNET
Richard Currier, Loral Space and
Roberto Padovani, Qualcomm
Devin Parekh, Insight Capital Ventures
Brian Daly, AT&T
Daniel Reed, Microsoft
David Clark, MIT
Dennis Roberson, WINCOM
Adam Drobot, 2M Companies
Jesse Russell, incNETWORKS
Tom Evslin, State of Vermont
Andy Setos, Fox Group
Charlotte Field, Comcast
Marvin Sirbu, Carnegie Mellon University
Mark Gorenberg, Hummer Winblad Venture
Paul Steinberg, Motorola
Harold Teets, TW Telecom
Dick Green, Liberty Global
David Tennenhouse, New Venture Partners
Russ Gyurek, Cisco Systems
Bud Tribble, Apple
Dale Hatfield, Silicon Flatirons Center
Jack Waters, Level 3 Communications
Erwin Hudson, WildBlue Communications
Robert Zitter, HBO
Ari Juels, RSA Laboratories/EMC
Kevin Kahn, Intel

FCC Staff Team

Walter Johnston, Designated Federal Officer
Michael McKenzie
Julius Knapp, Alt. Designated Federal Officer
Deena Shetler
Lisa Gelb
Doug Sicker
John Leibovitz
Jordan Usdan
Christopher Lewis

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