FCC Expected To Release Rural Broadband Report Wednesday: Sources


The Federal Communications Commission is expected Wednesday to release a report it gave to Congress last week on a rural broadband rollout strategy, according to several sources at the agency.

Congress asked the commission to come up with the rural strategy, in concert with the Department of Agriculture, in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Acting FCC chairman Michael Copps sought comment on the plan back in March, pointing out it was long-overdue

The FCC has said it expects that strategy to "inform" its effort to create a national broadband plan, also at the direction of Congress per the economic stimulus package.

One of the congressional mandates for the strategy is to "promote interagency coordination" which will definitely need to happen with the national broadband plan, which, like the rural plan, will need to to cross disciplines and departments to include health care, energy grids and entertainment.

An FCC spokesperson would not comment on the content of the report. A Department of Agriculture spokesperson had not returned a call for comment at press time.

The FCC is also being asked in the report to talk about coordinating existing rural broadband initiatives, which now include ones being promoted through the stimulus package via grants/loans to the Agricultural Department's Rural Utilities Service.