On Thursday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski formally asked Congressional lawmakers for a 1-month extension to the deadline for submitting of National Broadband Plan. Such a push in the deadline was expected by many, but was strongly dismissed earlier in November by the FCC. The national broadband plan, when released, will be a strategic vision for expanding broadband capabilities and enhancing broadband adoption of under-served populations.
The main reason cited for the delay was the “unprecedented” volume of comments from the public (and most certainly government contractors) surrounding the plan. “Apparently the volume of public comments submitted to the commission will require a longer period for review that the original schedule for formulating the national broadband plan permitted,” House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., said in a written response.
Other political leaders on the Senate Commerce Committee don’t seem to mind the delay, assuming the extra time adds value to the end product. “Chairman Genachowski has indicated that a short delay is necessary to qualitatively improve the plan. I support his efforts,” Rockefeller said in a statement, according to an article on nextgov.com.
The move is not surprising given the volume of work involved and the relatively few resources available to the FCC at the beginning of the project. More than likely, this will be the last delay (otherwise they would have asked for more time) and we’ll see a plan in the next month. It will certainly be interesting to see what business opportunities arise from the increased focus and possible expanded funding for making the plan a reality. Stay tuned for more.
All the best,