RUS and NTIA Seek Comment on Broadband Opportunity Council


The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are seeking comment to inform the deliberations of the newly-created Broadband Opportunity Council. The Obama Administration announced the creation of the Council in March. It will be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, and will include over 25 different government agencies and components. The Council’s objectives are to: (i) Engage with industry and other stakeholders to
understand ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking to expand broadband access and adoption; (ii) identify regulatory barriers unduly impeding broadband deployment, adoption, or competition; (iii) survey and report back on existing programs that currently support or could be modified to support broadband competition, deployment, or adoption; and (iv) take all necessary actions to remove these barriers and realign existing programs to increase broadband competition, deployment, and adoption.

RUS and NTIA seek comment in several different areas: (i) Ways the federal government can promote best practices, modernize outdated regulations, promote coordination, and offer more services online; (ii) identification of regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, competition, and adoption; (iii) ways to promote public and private investment in broadband; (iv) ways to promote broadband adoption; (v) issues
related to state, local, and tribal governments; (vi) issues related to vulnerable communities and communities with limited or no broadband; (vii) issues specific to rural areas; and (viii) ways to measure
broadband availability, adoption, and speed. Comments are due by 5:00 pm on June 10, 2015.

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