• On September 7, 2010, the FCC announced a number of new tools to access FCC broadband data. In remarks to the Gov 2.0 Summit, Chairman Genachowski stated that the tools will “empower innovators and developers across the country to leverage government data in ways never imagined, creating immense value for the American public.” The tools can be accessed here.
  • Reply Comments on the Seventh Broadband Notice of Inquiry (NOI), in which the FCC seeks comment on the definition of “advanced telecommunications” and the proper metrics for evaluating broadband deployment, are due October 5, 2010. The NOI is available here.

Initial Comments on the NOI, filed September 7, have been split. Broadband ISPs have urged the FCC to back away from last year’s report which found that broadband deployment to all Americans was not reasonable or timely. For example, AT&T argued that the logic of the previous report was too restrictive, because it ignored the fact that 95 percent of households have access to wireline broadband, and 98 percent have access to 3G wireless broadband services. The comments of Verizon and Verizon Wireless criticized the FCC’s having compared data from 2008 with the FCC’s “newly-minted and forward-looking benchmark that builds in anticipated future increases in demand for broadband capabilities (4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream).”

In contrast, advocacy groups and state commissions urged the FCC to continue to follow its present course. For example, Free Press said in comments that “The Commission’s sixth inquiry represented a welcome and significant shift away from the predicative claims in its previous decisions towards a more data-driven analysis. With the Sixth Report, the Commission correctly found that the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability was not occurring in a reasonable and timely fashion.”