As the FCC prepares for the incoming Obama administration and a changing of the guard from Republican to Democratic leadership, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told a law conference audience that a “higher national priority” should be placed on the deployment of broadband, which represents “our greatest infrastructure challenge today.” In a keynote address before the University of Nebraska College of Law, Adelstein—a Democrat—expressed hope that, once President-Elect Obama takes office, broadband and other “long neglected issues” will “finally get the attention they deserve.” While stressing the importance of boosting U.S. national broadband rankings in comparison to other nations, Adelstein noted that the promotion of nationwide broadband access “dovetails” with other vital issues that include economic recovery and stability, healthcare, energy, education and public safety. To that end, Adelstein described the recent adoption of rules that opened the digital TV white space bands to unlicensed wireless use as “one of the most significant decisions the Commission has made on broadband deployment.” Praising the FCC’s decision to seek further comment on reform of the universal service fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation regimes, Adelstein voiced support for a “stable [USF] program that advances our transition to a broadband age” and that also provides USF funding for broadband in accordance with the recommendations of the Joint Board on Universal Service. Adelstein further hinted that the related issue of net neutrality would loom large at the FCC next year, as he observed: “the movement for Internet freedom is tapping the same American spirit that fueled the movement against media consolidation.”