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and NTIA seek comment in several different areas: (i) Ways the federal government can promote best practices, modernize outdated regulations, promote coordination, and offer more services online; (ii) identification of regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, competition, and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.