FCC now blogging, tweeting on national broadband

Initial focus of FCC blog, tweets is on national broadband plan

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a new blog and Twitter account to chronicle its progress in developing a nation broadband plan.

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a new blog and Twitter account whose initial purpose is to chronicle the FCC’s progress in developing a national broadband plan.

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The new blog, called “Blogband,” is being written solely to update the public on how the FCC’s broadband plan is evolving before it gets submitted to Congress next year. In his first post for the blog, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that the broadband plan’s goal will be to chart “a path toward bringing the benefits of robust broadband to all Americans” and he described the plan as “one of the most important initiatives that the FCC has ever undertaken.”

The FCC’s Twitter account, meanwhile, will be used to both update the public on the broadband plan and to provide more general news about communications policy in the United States.

The FCC is slated to present its plan to Congress in February 2010. The plan was commissioned to provide the government with a blueprint for building out broadband infrastructure in regions of the United States that currently lack access to quality, affordable broadband services.

The government last month set concrete terms for what constitutes broadband by defining it as any service that provides “two-way data transmission of at least 768Kbps downstream and at least 200Kbps upstream to end users.” The government also said that for any broadband project to receive federal funding, a project must provide service to an area where “no more than 50% of the households” have access to broadband service, where no fixed or mobile provider offers services of at least 3Mbps, or where the rate of subscribership to broadband services is less than 40%.

The definitions were released to coincide with the availability of $4 billion to pay for the first round of broadband projects mandated by the economic stimulus package passed earlier this year. The released funds represent well over half of the $7.2 billion that the government has allotted to fund broadband infrastructure investment over the next two years.

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