Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to determine whether broadband (or more formally, “advanced telecommunications capability”) is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.
The Notice of Inquiry says that “advanced telecommunications capability is provided in different circumstances using fixed or mobile service.” It also asks:
Given that Americans use both fixed and mobile broadband technologies, we seek comment on whether we should evaluate the deployment of fixed and mobile broadband as separate and distinct ways to achieve advanced telecommunications capability. Taking into account the differences between the various services and the geographic, economic, and population diversity of our nation, we seek comment on focusing this Section 706 Inquiry on whether some form of advanced telecommunications capability, be it fixed or mobile, is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. Would such an inquiry best follow the statutory instruction to evaluate the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability “without regard to any transmission media or technology”?
Here is a kind of comment that can be made.
Of course we need faster internet access at home and everywhere. It should be affordable (under $100/month) multi-gigabit per second like it is in South Korea and the other leading countries. It will generate more economic activity. It could be delivered by allowing mobile internet via Google loons, drones and with thousands of low earth orbiting internet satellites. This is critical for the US economy and economic competitiveness.
The FCC’s decision eliminates price caps in a county if 50 percent of potential customers “are within a half-mile of a location served by a competitive provider.” A county is now also considered competitive if 75 percent of Census blocks have a cable provider. (There are no price caps for cable-based business data services.)