We have long urged the FCC to include community networks in discussions around subjects like Universal Service Fund reform -- where communities are better poised to build the networks they need than private companies. The good news is that the FCC is now listening; the bad news is that they are listening during a short window in the middle of August. Doh!
Nonetheless, we urge as many of you as possible to file whatever information you can to inform the FCC. Public Knowledge and the Benton Foundation are coordinating a filing to make it easier on you -- a recent email copied below explains further. Please contact me or one of the people below if you have any questions - getting good information in front of the FCC is essential for them to make the right decision. From Public Knowledge and Benton:
In reforming this portion of the fund the FCC has requested addition information on the idea of communities “self-provisioning” their broadband service. Specifically the Commission is considering requiring all fund recipients to open up their networks to self-provision communities at reasonable rate. Right now this requirement would be limited to self-provisioners that are in areas where USF recipient may have facilities nearby BUT the USF recipient is not providing service to the self-provisioning community.
We think that small, independent or community based ISPs are just the kind of folks the FCC envisions to be “self-provisioning” an unserved community. Public Knowledge and the Benton Foundation are working together to document input from current “self-provisioners” to help answer some of the questions in this proceeding. If you are interested in participating you can either file a comment on your own by August 24, 2011 or work with PK and Benton’s attorneys to put together a coordinated filing.
The FCC needs data on how various kinds of small, independent, community-based, or...Read more