[opendtv] Tech Advisors Tell FCC to Launch Local Broadband Deployment Competition

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:08:29 -0500

Quoting: "The 45 folks selected to advise federal regulators on technology 
today delivered eight recommendations emphasizing the creation of local 
broadband networks. Among those--making it competitive, and making it easier. 
None mentioned relieving broadcasters of spectrum."

When I read the report from the council,


I thought they had saved the best for last. That's when they mention design and 
deployment of femtocells and picocells. I think the TV Technology article may 
have missed that in that recommendation, they were proposing common small cell 
access points that would support the frequency bands of multiple cellcos. So 
the various service providers could share the same tower.

Glad to see this idea being pushed, vs the much less effective, but perhaps 
more dramatic and showy one, of grabbing spectrum left and right. A couple of 
the other recommendations, related to tower siting, would play a part in this 

Now, if only the more reasonable heads would prevail with Congress.



Tech Advisors Tell FCC to Launch Local Broadband Deployment Competition

WASHINGTON: The 45 folks selected to advise federal regulators on technology 
today delivered eight recommendations emphasizing the creation of local 
broadband networks. Among those--making it competitive, and making it easier. 
None mentioned relieving broadcasters of spectrum.

"Hanging another antenna on a cell site should be a fast decision," said Tom 
Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission's 5th Technical 
Advisory Council, formed last October.

The charter of the council is to advise the commission on overall tech 
policies, but the FCC's current preoccupation is broadband deployment. The 
Obama Administration wants nationwide broadband service in 10 years. The 
council's recommendations honed in on what the commission could do immediately, 
"without working through traditional regulatory processes." Eight were made, 
with no particular emphasis on one over another:

Commence a Municipal Race-to-the-Top Program, identifying cities with the best 
practices for deploying broadband. The council suggested ranking municipalities 
and awarding a "Broadband City USA" designation for those with the most 
"broadband-friendly" infrastructure planning and permit approval. The FCC, in 
turn, could identify and highlight those best practices.

The council said the FCC should request an executive order to build broadband 
networks on federal property. It would mandate a single document for permitting 
rights-of-way and antenna siting approvals; coordination by a single federal 
agency; and a 60-day shot clock for approval. It could promote the use of micro 
cells, distributed antenna systems and other advanced technologies.

The council said the FCC should urge states and municipalities to speed up the 
tower siting process. The council said it identified several obstacles to tower 
siting that could be overcome by updating local procedures. Those included 
inconsistent timeframes for environmental assessments; redundant requirements 
for co-locations; and repeated but unexplained rejections.

"Expediting the process for tower siting could have an important impact on the 
development of local broadband access in communities, boosting their 
marketability to new employers and network access for local entrepreneurs," the 
council said. "If states and municipalities do not agree to expedite 
co-location approvals, the commission should express its willingness to proceed 
with a new, shorter 'shot clock' rule for co-locations."

The council recommended that the FCC commence a "road show" about the latest 
broadband technologies. The intent is to initiate a dialog with local 
governments about things like microtrenching, DAS gear on light poles, 
directional boring, etc. Wheeler said the road show would tie back to the 
Municipal Race to the Top.

The council told the FCC to develop a "white-label" website that municipalities 
can skin locally for tracking utility digs. That way, rights-of-way excavations 
could be coordinated to save time and reduce service disruptions. Kind of a 
"reverse one-call," Wheeler said.

The FCC should also consider new metrics for broadband network quality and 
reliability the council said. There are measures other than speed, Wheeler 
said. Throughput speeds don't sufficiently measure performance for extended 
uses such as healthcare monitoring and emergency services, the council said.

The group recommended that the FCC start investigating how to update or replace 
services and equipment that still rely on the old copper-wire, telephone-pole 

"These services and devices will have to be replaced and the accompanying 
construction and inspection 'codes' revised," the council said. Its members 
will come up with an inventory of such services, while the FCC initiates a 
public discourse on updating the old phone infrastructure for broadband.

The final recommendation from the council is for the FCC to promote deployment 
of small cell sites. Two strategies were emphasized--creating a "universal 
architecture" for femtocells and picocells that utilizes spectrum bonding, and 
the creation of a small-cell spectrum allocation. The small-cell band would 
authorize licensed and unlicensed use to provide network flexibility.

Members of the Technical Advisory Council include: 
Tom Wheeler, Core Capital Partners
Shahid Ahmed, Accenture
Mark Bayliss, Virginia ISP Association
Nomi Bergman, Bright House Networks
Peter Bloom, General Atlantic
Vinton Cerf, Google
John Chapin, Wireless Innovation Forum
kc claffy, Cooperative Assoc. for Internet Data Analysis
Wesley Clark, Wesley K. Clark and Associates
Lynn Claudy, National Assoc. of Broadcasters
Richard Currier, Loral Space and Communications
Brian Daly, AT&T
David Clark, MIT
Adam Drobot, 2M Companies
Tom Evslin, State of Vermont
Charlotte Field, Comcast
Mark Gorenberg, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
Dick Green, Liberty Global
Russ Gyurek, Cisco Systems
Dale Hatfield, Silicon Flatirons Center
Erwin Hudson, WildBlue Communications
Ari Juels, RSA Laboratories/EMC
Kevin Kahn, Intel
Gregory Lapin, American Radio Relay League
Richard Lynch, Verizon
Paul Mankiewich, Juniper Networks
John Marinho, Dell
Brian Markwalter, Consumer Electronics Association
Geoffrey Mendenhall, Harris Corporation
Randy Nicklas, XO Communications
Hilton Nicholson, SIXNET
Roberto Padovani, Qualcomm
Devin Parekh, Insight Capital Ventures
Daniel Reed, Microsoft
Dennis Roberson, WINCOM
Jesse Russell, incNETWORKS
Andy Setos, Fox Group
Marvin Sirbu, Carnegie Mellon University
Paul Steinberg, Motorola
Harold Teets, TW Telecom
David Tennenhouse, New Venture Partners
Bud Tribble, Apple
Jack Waters, Level 3 Communications
Robert Zitter, HBO

The FCC's team includes: 
Walter Johnston, Designated Federal Officer
Julius Knapp, Alt. Designated Federal Officer
Lisa Gelb
John Leibovitz
Christopher Lewis
Michael McKenzie
Deena Shetler
Doug Sicker
Jordan Usdan

-- Deborah D. McAdams

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