FCC asks for more time on US national broadband plan

The US Federal Communications Commission has asked Congress for a one month delay in publishing its long-awaited national broadband plan.

The US Federal Communications Commission has asked Congress for a one month delay in publishing its long-awaited national broadband plan.

In letters to senators and congressmen, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said the delay was "in the interests of advancing a national broadband plan that reflects the extraordinary importance of the task".

The FCC had conducted an "unparalleled" investigation that included more than 50 public workshops and hearings and a dozen public notices.

The extra time would allow the FCC to hold detailed discussions with key stakeholders and to brief politicians as the plan came together, Genachowski said.

The new deadline is 17 March 2010.

The FCC's broadband taskforce said previously that competition would be a guiding principle of the plan.

"Finding ways to better use existing assets, including universal service, rights-of-way, spectrum and others, will be essential to the success of the plan," it said. "The limited government funding that is available for broadband would be best used when leveraged with private sector investment."

The taskforce planned to focus on 10 areas: universal service, infrastructure access, spectrum, tribal lands, set-top boxes, consumer information, media, adoption of broadband, accessibility for people with disabilities, and public safety. It planned to address other areas such as education, energy, health care, and civic participation in January.

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