In comments filed with the FCC, AT&T, Verizon, and other providers of fixed and wireless broadband services took issue with agency findings over the past three years that broadband services are not being deployed to Americans in a “reasonable and timely fashion.” Late last week, the FCC received industry comments on a notice of inquiry that seeks input on the meaning of “advanced telecommunications capability” and how broadband deployment should be measured for the purposes of Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Information gathered by the FCC will form the basis of the agency’s upcoming report to Congress on the state of the U.S. broadband market that is submitted annually in accordance with Section 706. Pointing to statistics that depict the national penetration rate for fixed broadband infrastructure at 98%, AT&T charged that conclusions reached by the FCC in its last three reports are based “on a standard that cannot be met, and that mandates a finding that broadband deployment is not reasonable and timely until broadband has been deployed to every household in America.” Calling on the FCC to “correct its flawed approach,” AT&T recommended a “return to an approach that measures yearto- year progress . . . rather than finding that anything less than one hundred percent deployment and adoption of broadband is unreasonable.” Similarly, the U.S. Telecom Association (USTA) advised the FCC that penetration rates for wired broadband, which currently exceed 95%, combined with high rates of private investment in broadband infrastructure and facilities-based competition in U.S. broadband services, “must lead to the conclusion that broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” As wireless association CTIA added that any assessment of broadband availability “must account for the rapid deployment, availability and adoption of mobile broadband services,” Verizon stressed that, because Section 706 defines advanced telecommunications capability without regard to any specific technology, “there is no reason to evaluate mobile broadband and satellite broadband separately from fixed terrestrial broadband service offerings.” With respect to boosting broadband penetration, USTA noted the remedy prescribed in Section 706, in which the FCC is directed “to accelerate deployment of [broadband] capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition.” Among these barriers, argued the USTA, “are legacy regulations that no longer make sense in a broadband-centric marketplace.”