The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is seeking public comment on a report by Harvard University’s Berkman Centre for Internet and Society into broadband deployment and usage throughout the world which will inform its development of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). In April 2009 the FCC commenced development of the NBP, as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is aimed at ensuring that every US citizen has access to high speed internet services; the FCC is required to deliver the plan to Congress by 17 February 2010. To help it achieve this goal, on 14 July the FCC commissioned the Berkman Centre to survey global telecoms policy. The study, which cites TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database over 100 times, states that its ‘most surprising and significant finding’ has been the predilection toward open access in most high-performing countries, which contrasts sharply with current US policy. The report suggests that encouraging incumbent operators to restructure and open networks to rivals had played a key part in the development of the countries’ markets and was playing an equally central role in planning for the next generation of internet access. The FCC is not bound by the report and is looking for public and industrial feedback to help form its NBP.
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