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A View from the United States, ECTA Regulatory Conference

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Released: December 8, 2009
A View from the US
Recent Developments in Washington
Outlook for 2010
The Honorable Meredith Attwell Baker
Federal Communications Commissioner
ECTA Regulatory Conference 2009
8 December 2009
Brussels, Belgium

Thoughts from Washington
• The New Federal Communications Commission
• The National Broadband Plan
• Other Work
- Net Neutrality
- The Need for Spectrum
- Regulatory Action
• Questions

New Federal Communications Commission
• Commission includes 3 members of President’s
party and 2 members of the opposition—
appointed by the President and confirmed by
the US Senate
• Chairman Genachowski sets the agenda
• Most issues decided by unanimous vote (over
• Tough issues resolved through collaborative

My Regulatory Philosophy
- Consumers benefit most from continued
investment, innovation, and competition
- Competition regulates market behavior more
efficiently than government
- Don’t solve problems that don’t exist
- Incentives do matter
8Regulatory actions taken—or not taken—affect markets

Broadband Activities to Date
• President Bush established the goal:
- Universal affordable broadband should be available to all
Americans by 2007
• Economic, regulatory and technology policies created
environment for broadband deployment
- Tax Incentives
- Reduced Regulation
- New Technologies Enabled
- More spectrum

The National Broadband Plan
• Congressional mandate to develop a National
Broadband Plan that shall:
“[e]nsure that all people of the United States have access
to broadband capability and . . . establish benchmarks
for meeting that goal”
• Includes Analysis of National Purposes Impacted by
- Education, Energy, Environment, Healthcare, Public Safety,
Civic Purposes

The Process
• Be Open
- Transparent
- Inclusive
- Participatory
• Be Data Driven
• Produce a Plan by Feb 17, 2010

Process Innovations
• Use of public workshops over broad
range of issues
• Use of public multimedia to open up
• Testimony via telepresence
• Dedicated webpage for policy initiative
• FCC Blog
• FCC Tweet
• Use of idea rankings for public input
• Use of academic institutions for focused
data gathering

Representative Workshops
• eGov/Civic Participation
• Public Safety and Homeland Security
• Deployment
• Smart Grid, Broadband, and Climate
- Wired
- Wireless
• Economic Growth, Job Creation, and
Private Investment
- Unserved/Underserved
• Job Training
• Technology
• Applications and Devices
- Fixed Broadband
• State and Local Governments
- Wireless
• Benchmarks
• International Lessons
• Big Ideas/Best Practices
• Small and Disadvantaged Business
• Broadband Consumer Experience
• Adoption (3 Workshops)
• Individuals with Disabilities
• Education

Some Insights
• The US is already a “broadband” nation
- 92% of Americans have access to broadband
- 63% of Americans subscribe; but
• More needs to be done-especially on adoption
- Different reasons for different people
- Commission could promote adoption through education
• All ideas should be on the table
- Competitive and technologically neutral
- Set economic climate incentives to build out faster
- Reward innovation, investment and encourage competition– not
industrial policy
- Spectrum policy unleashes the value of the public airwaves
- Update government subsidy programs

Next Steps
• Synthesizing all gathered information into an
appropriate action plan that meets the goals and
objectives of the statute and the practical realities of
the Commission
• Addressing all the issues that will inevitably be raised
in the broadband plan in order to modernize our
policies for the broadband era
• The national broadband plan will be a beginning, not
an end

Net Neutrality-What We Are Doing
• Recent action kicks off a public, data-driven process to preserve
the free and open Internet
- Process will include a look at innovation, investment, competition and
consumer interests
• Proposing to codify a version of 2005 principles for wired Internet
entitling consumers to:
- access the lawful Internet content of their choice
- run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs
of law enforcement
- connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network
- competition among network providers, application and service
providers, and content providers

Net Neutrality-Additional Steps
• Consensus must be reasonable network management
• Looking at exemption of “managed services”
• Extending coverage to wireless broadband
- How, when, and to what extent up will be examined closely
• Increasing transparency
• Many open questions; but broad consensus for Open
Internet and free flow of lawful content

The Need for Spectrum
• The US has over 500MHz allocated to mobile
• Some new spectrum coming on line with 3G and 4G
(700MHz, 1710-1755/2110-2155MHz, 2495-2690MHz)
• Growth of broadband devices (netbooks, iPhones,
Blackberries & Droids) will over time drive a need for
hundreds more MHz of new spectrum
- 270 million mobile users
- 15% use mobile broadband today; but
- 93% of 18-29 year olds go online wirelessly
- 130% year over year data increase projected in near term

Suggested Spectrum Approach
• Establish New Spectrum Management Framework
- Conduct Inventory
- Identify new bands
- International coordination
• Leverage Existing Spectrum Resources
• User-friendly database
• Improve secondary markets
• Spectrum sharing/interference trading
• Encourage Investment and Promote Innovation
• Cognitive Radios/SDRs
• Smart Antennas
• Research and Development

Anticipated Action in 2010
• Spectrum Issues
• Broadband Issues
• Universal Service Reform
• Special Access
• Media Ownership-Comcast/NBC

A View from the US
Recent Developments in Washington
Outlook for 2010
The Honorable Meredith Attwell Baker
Federal Communications Commissioner
ECTA Regulatory Conference 2009
8 December 2009
Brussels, Belgium

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