x
Broadband services

White House Lines Up Broadband Playbook

If Gigabit Cities are a sign that individual community efforts can bring about significant broadband change, then the new Broadband Opportunity Council report presented to US President Barack Obama is a sign of the government's determination to take regional broadband successes and turn them into a template for the rest of America.

The report, which was just released to the public, is the result of a Presidential Memorandum issued by President Obama last March. In his memo, Obama tasked the newly formed Broadband Opportunity Council with providing recommendations on how "to identify and assess regulatory barriers and opportunities" related to the goal of expanding broadband deployment and adoption. He gave the Council 150 days to deliver its report, which had to include a prioritized list of recommended actions and a timeline for completing them.

The full report is now available online, but, in summary, the Council recommended that the government: modernize federal programs to include funding support options for broadband initiatives; use its federal agencies to develop tools for communities investing in broadband improvements; expand access to federal assets that could support further broadband development; and upgrade broadband research and data collection.

Throughout the report, certain themes are repeated frequently -- notably that there needs to be better sharing of information among US local, state and national governments, and that practices and policies that prove successful in one place should be replicated wherever possible.

For example, one recommendation suggests a one-stop government portal for broadband development resources including best practices and technical assistance for local governments and anchor institutions. Another calls for a community connectivity index promoting successful regional broadband programs and offering tools for assessing one's own community and creating a broadband improvement plan.

The report also specifically spotlights the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Mozilla Foundation to create "Living Labs" in several gigabit communities with the goal of creating the equivalent of a "smart city app store" that any community can use. (See White House Funding Seeds Smart Cities.)


The rollout of gigabit broadband access networks is spreading. Find out what's happening where in our dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel here on Light Reading.


Over and over in its report, the Broadband Opportunity Council returns to this idea of centralizing resources and creating a repository of solutions that communities can learn from and build on. In many ways, it's similar to what Google Fiber Inc. has already done in the private sector, but writ large.

Google is learning from early deployments and taking that knowledge to new cities to work with them and determine how to make them good candidates for fiber expansion. The company has argued that even in cities where it does not deploy its own gigabit service, the communities are left better off because of the preparatory work done that can still be useful for any future broadband plans. (See Gigabites: A Gigabit Battle in Tennessee.)

The federal government has an even bigger opportunity to promote this network effect. With effective coordination among agencies, it has the potential to multiply the impact of virtually any regionalized broadband innovations and make the lessons learned for attracting funding, leveraging assets and overcoming challenges available to all.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

Page 1 / 3   >   >>
MikeP688 10/1/2015 | 1:22:56 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. We can, we will and we shall overcome as we begin a new quarter.   At least we have a Government that is not shutting down (at least until Dec 11) :-) :-) 
KBode 10/1/2015 | 1:20:53 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. We do, but wouldn't it be so much more fun and efficient if we could do it with a little less self-immolation and drama? :)
KBode 10/1/2015 | 1:20:11 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. ""Well, I spent too much money on Christmas gifts this year, so I may as well clean out my savings account and go on a two-week cruise."  ;)



There's spending an extra $100 on Christmas, and then there's throwing trillions upon unaccountable trillions into the ocean, then complaining when somebody suggests that maybe SOME of that could go toward necessary infrastructure of benefit to everybody. :)
MikeP688 9/30/2015 | 9:56:27 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. @Joe:  You and I are on the same page--but we have to make sure we are not pennywise and dollar fool--which is unfortunately the case right now especially with the political discourse before us :-) 
Joe Stanganelli 9/30/2015 | 8:45:51 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. > millions of people unable to get anything faster than 15 Mbps.

On a good day.
Joe Stanganelli 9/30/2015 | 8:34:06 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. @MikeP: Sure, I got you, and that's all fine; I don't disagree.  All too often, though, the answer for many people is "The federal government/the state/the city should pay for this" -- either not realizing or not caring that what they're saying is it should be taxpayer subsidized -- and there is never any nod to the realities of investment, ROI, and sustainable budgeting. 

Let's do the math.  Let's run the models.  Let's see where the investment can be best spent.  That's my only point.
Joe Stanganelli 9/30/2015 | 8:29:05 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. > The same people ok with trillions spent on military toilet seats? I've long believed that if we're seriously ok with spending as much as we do on military, we can spare 10% or so to help shore up broadband infrastructure.

"Well, I spent too much money on Christmas gifts this year, so I may as well clean out my savings account and go on a two-week cruise."  ;)
MikeP688 9/29/2015 | 9:08:07 AM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. What is facinating is how innovation continues and amazes us.     Just today is Google at the forefront of continuing to amaze us with Chromecast, Android, etc    We shall, and will overcome!! :-) 
KBode 9/28/2015 | 2:31:07 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. We're a nation that proudly and repeatedly elects people whose sole platform is "government can't work" while they're usually busy selling anything that isn't nailed down through the back door and ensuring their entire ethos comes true. It's exhausting.

In broadband we've been around this hamster wheel so many times it's gotten well beyond silly.

Things like "let's use real-world data to inform policy decisions" and "maybe we should check to see where taxpayer subsidies end up" are still basically being considered novel and new reform we MAY GET TO some point down the road.
MikeP688 9/28/2015 | 2:11:01 PM
Re: That's a tired playbook. We need a new coach. It gets boring--doesn't it?  I was reflecting upon this very fact you noted as I caught a glimpse of Ted Cruz at Value Voters Summit bashing Government.   Technology gives us the chance to be truly "Smart" for the greater good.   That's the key challenge--right?

 
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE