Yesterday, the FCC released the National Broadband Plan called for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The plan identifies ways to expand access to broadband and promote economic growth and job creation in areas unserved or underserved by broadband internet access.
Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra writes on the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) blog, “I've established a Broadband Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology, co-chaired by Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the Department of Commerce, and Scott Blake Harris, General Counsel at the Department of Energy. This interagency group will focus closely on the plan by the FCC“”an independent agency“”and advise the Administration on actions it can take to promote broadband as a platform to improve the lives of everyday Americans and drive innovation in the economy.”
CTO Chopra says that this subcommittee will meet the goal outlined by President Obama, to “build upon our efforts over the past year to make America’s nationwide broadband infrastructure the world's most powerful platform for economic growth and prosperity.“
Additionally, CTO Chopra says that the White House is committed to build upon the almost $2 billion already put forward by the Department of Commerce and the USDA to deliver broadband to communities with limited or no broadband access. He says this will “stimulate job creation, and foster long-term economic growth” and support the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to the free and secure movement of healthcare information from where it is collected to where it is needed.
Also, CTO Chopra writes that the Broadband Subcommittee will support the Department of Energy’s $11 billion ARRA investment to modernize electricity transmission with an interactive “Smart Grid;” the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to integrate web-based technologies into the National Emergency Communications Plan for emergency response efforts; and collaboration across all Departments and agencies to promote the adoption of new, secure broadband platforms.
“The Administration will continue to engage the public on this issue, as Secretary Arne Duncan did last week when he called for public input on the draft National Education Technology Plan, which articulates a bold vision of a world-class education environment powered by technology that relies on broadband access both in and out of school.” Writes CTO Chopra, “The Administration also continues to implement its Open Government Directive, which is seeking public input on how each Federal agency should achieve greater transparency, participation, and collaboration, in part by taking fuller advantage of the capabilities of broadband.”
He closed by thanking FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for his “tireless work and your dedication to the broadband future of the country.”