Along with health information technology initiatives and banking bailout plans, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also called for a national broadband strategy. The Federal Communications Commission was required to develop a plan that would create jobs in building a national broadband infrastructure. The strategy is to be presented to Congress by Feb. 17, but the FCC has reportedly asked for another month to sort through the reams of public comments received on the proposal.
But as DSLReports.com writer Karl Bode notes:
It's not entirely clear why the extension is necessary, given that most industry watchers believe the plan does absolutely nothing to rattle the broadband industry status quo. Consumer advocates were recently given an early glimpse at the plan and came away very underwhelmed, noting that it oddly fails to even really touch on the industry's biggest problem: a lack of substantive competition.
Moreover, the Federal Trade Commission has asked the FCC to consider consumer privacy concerns when developing its strategy. Particularly, the FTC is concerned about deep packet inspection being used to deliver targeted advertising.
Bode says, however, given the lack of direction the broadband team has had to this point and the fact that regulators on both sides of the political aisle remain loyal to the big carriers, it's unlikely that a month would be enough time to make a real difference.