The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency.The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.–FCC Website
The FCC recently released its ” long-awaited” plan on national broadband in the U.S. and though it has created quite a vision on where the U.S. should go in reference to Internet access in the future, is it the right agency to do this? According to the FCC website, the FCC was created to form policy and regulate communications, not design and legislate future use of such communications channels. So if not the FCC, then who?
It’s time that the President create a cabinet position that plans, implements and monitors the state of technology in these United States. Technology is a key driver for development, investment and business in the U.S. and is as important an issue as Energy or the the Interior, which are already cabinet level positions. There’s no doubt that in many areas, the U.S. leads in technology adoption–fiber-to-the-home, broadband adoption, number of homes with personal computers–but in other areas has fallen seriously behind (most developed countries have a higher penetration of mobile phones, for instance, and should I even mention the state of computing in our public schools?). In December, President Obama appointed a new position, a cyber security coordinator who is tasked with protecting U.S. computing and network assets. This is one area that should report directly to cabinet-level position. Cyber security, networking, telephony, Internet, wireless systems all should have a leader that should set the plan for future investment and strategy.
The FCC has done a good job of elevating the debate, but it’s not the right department to lead it. It’s time now to create one, or risk falling further behind.
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