Monday, August 11, 2014

FCC RFC :: 10th Sec. 706 NOI

TENTH INQUIRY CONCERNING THE DEPLOYMENT OF ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY TO ALL AMERICANS IN A REASONABLE AND TIMELY FASHION, AND POSSIBLE STEPS TO ACCELERATE SUCH DEPLOYMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 706 OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996.   Initiated the Commission's assessment of whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, and solicited data and information that will help the Commission make this determination. (Dkt No.  14-126 ). Action by:  the Commission. Comments Due:  09/04/2014. Reply Comments Due:  09/19/2014. Adopted:  08/01/2014 by NOI. (FCC No. 14-113).  WCB  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A1.docx
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A2.docx
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A3.docx
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A4.docx
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A1.pdf
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A2.pdf
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A3.pdf
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A4.pdf
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A1.txt
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A2.txt
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A3.txt
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-113A4.txt

INTRODUCTION


1.              Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended (1996 Act), requires the Commission to determine and report annually on “whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.”[1]  This Notice of Inquiry (Inquiry) initiates the Commission’s assessment of the “availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms).”[2]  In conducting this Inquiry, the Commission must “determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion” and, if the answer is negative, the Commission “shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability” through a variety of means.[3]  In this Inquiry, we solicit data and information that will help the Commission make this determination. 
2.              On August 21, 2012, the Commission released the Ninth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry.[4]  We asked questions in the Ninth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry and have not issued a corresponding report.[5]  To what extent do those questions remain relevant or need to be resolved?  Since that last inquiry, there have been numerous noteworthy developments in the broadband market and the Commission has continued to take significant steps to accelerate the deployment of modern communications networks.  For example, since the last report, the Commission has implemented a second round of Phase I of the Connect America Fund to promote the deployment of broadband-capable infrastructure and more than $438 million in funding has been disbursed, which will bring new broadband service to more than 1.6 million unserved Americans in the next several years.[6] 
3.              With this Inquiry, we start anew by analyzing current data and seeking information that will enable the Commission to conduct an updated analysis for purposes of its next report.  In particular, we seek comment on the benchmarks we should use to define “advanced telecommunications capability,” explore whether we should establish separate benchmarks for fixed and mobile services, which data we should rely on in measuring broadband, whether and how we should take into account differences in broadband deployment, particularly between urban areas versus non-urban and Tribal areas, and other issues.  We seek comment on whether we should modify the 4 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload (4 Mbps/1 Mbps) speed benchmark we have relied on in the past reports.  We also seek comment on whether we should consider latency and data usage allowances as additional core characteristics of advanced telecommunications capability.[7]
We seek comment on how to address mobile and satellite services data in our section 706 report and on ways to improve the evaluation of mobile and satellite services data.  We also seek comment on whether we should establish separate benchmarks for fixed and mobile services, and under what circumstances mobile services may itself satisfy the definition of advanced telecommunications capability and therefore serve as a functional equivalent for fixed broadband that satisfies the definition.  For areas where multiple providers have deployed service but none of the services, standing alone, satisfies the broadband benchmark, how (if at all) should we evaluate that deployment for our determination under section 706?  Finally, we seek comment on how to improve our analysis concerning broadband availability at elementary and secondary schools.  We encourage parties to provide any information that might be useful in our evaluation of broadband availability and welcome innovative ideas on how the Commission can best increase and accelerate broadband availability throughout the nation.  We welcome input on all matters relevant to this Inquiry, and seek information on the specific issues set forth below.

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