In the last two days, the FCC made three interesting moves. That’s not bad at all for an agency that has historically considered pushing back deadlines to be interesting moves. As a first order of business, they started a blog and began twittering! And not only that but 15 hours ago they twittered that they finally know what RSS is. Now, I’m not entirely sure what to expect in the way of blogging and twittering from a government committee (do they have to vote on it before posting it?), but a few months ago I called for the modernization of the FCC website as a first step. Hopefully that is still in the works, but I am quite happy to see new lines of communication opened up.
Yesterday the FCC also opened a new item for comment which has been on my list of complaints for a while: the definition of broadband. They even blogged about it! Hey Dave Rusin, apparently the definition adopted for the stimulus funds isn’t the final word, we get another bite at the apple! If the FCC cares what I think, I suggest that maybe it’s best that they NOT DEFINE BROADBAND. Instead, let’s define something else. Broadband has become a meaningless umbrella term and I don’t think we will ever succeed in shoving that toothpaste back in the tube. So why try? Instead of defining broadband, perhaps we should leave it as a meaningless umbrella term and simply define subcategories.
And last but not least, the FCC says it will be seeking comment on the state of competition in the wireless industry and how to “encourage further innovation and investment”. In other words, how to keep networks ‘open’ to application development by outsiders without damaging the economics of the wireless networks themselves. It’s an issue that is really just getting started, highlited by Apple’s rejection of Google Voice’s iPhone app recently. In the past the FCC would let this sort of thing boil over before talking about it, at least they’re getting started early. But talk is cheap, and this problem has no easy solution.
Nice start Mr. Genachowski, it’s good to see the FCC participate in the discussion rather than respond to it years later. But I can’t help but wonder about all that stuff smoking on the back burner – you know, the easy stuff like intercarrier compensation?
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