• On April 21, 2010, the FCC released a report titled “The Broadband Availability Gap,” stating that it will cost approximately $24 billion to close the perceived broadband availability gap. The paper details the methodology and model by which the FCC derived the statistic that 14 million Americans in 7 million homes do not have access to broadband service offering actual download speeds of 4 Mbps and actual upload speeds of 1 Mbps. Rob Curtis, Deployment Director, and Steve Rosenberg, Manager of Infrastructure of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative, said in a blog post that the report is designed to be conservative and only based on existing technologies, identified as “wireless, cable, satellite, and DSL.” The report was released to ensure transparency in the analysis in the National Broadband Plan. The report can be found here. The blog post can be found here.
  • Also on April 21, the FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking information on “the ability of existing broadband networks to withstand significant damage or severe overloads as a result of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemics or other major public emergencies.” These comments are sought because “Americans increasingly rely on broadband communications networks for voice, video, data, and other communications services, [and] the reliability and survivability of broadband communications networks becomes an even more critical factor in the safety, security, and well-being of the American people.” Comments are due 45 days after the NOI is published in the Federal Register, and and Reply Comments are due 30 days after the Comment date. PS Docket No. 10-92.
  • Also on April 21, the FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking “public comment on the proposed creation of a new voluntary cyber security certification program that would encourage communications service providers to implement a full range of cyber security best practices.” The NOI proposes that private sector auditors or the FCC conduct security assessments of participating communications service providers’ networks, including their compliance with stringent cyber security practices developed by a public-private partnership. Broadband providers could then market their compliance. Comments are due 60 days after the NOI is published in the Federal Register, and and Reply Comments are due 60 days after the Comment date. PS Docket No. 10-93.
  • The FCC is seeking comment on the methodology that SamKnows Limited proposes to adopt to accurately measure residential fixed broadband performance. The proposed methodology involves recruiting volunteers to install a SamKnows Whitebox behind their modem that tests various applications to determine data speed and other measurements. Comments are due May 4, 2010, in CG Docket No. 09-158, CC Docket No. 98-170, and WC Docket No. 04-36.