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Obama – Romney on Broadband Policy

Obama – Romney on Broadband Policy

Obama – Romney on Broadband Policy With both Presidential candidates working diligently to gain support during the last days of a heated campaign, each has a general view of broadband policy innovation to carry America through the next four years. Speaking in generalities will not get the job done and both Obama and Romney should be straightforward on what policies and strategy are critical to growing our economy.

  • What are the specifics of each candidates plan to drive technology innovation securing Americas place as the leader in broadband innovation?
  • How can each candidate ensure broadband access, speeds, proliferation, affordable prices, and job creation?

These questions and more should be intelligently answered for the American public, our business sectors to win the presidency for the next four years.

ITIF, (The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) formulated a side-by-side view of each candidate’s broadband policy. The results are highlighted below from an in-depth policy report titled Comparing the 2012 Presidential Candidates’ Technology and Innovation Policy.

BROADBAND POLICY

OBAMA-BIDEN

ROMNEY-RYAN

Wireless

Support making 500 MHz of new spectrum available for commercial networks by 2020.

Has not commented on the PCAST recommendation for federal spectrum sharing.

Support net neutrality conditions on some spectrum auctions and substantial new allocations for “White Spaces” and other unlicensed uses.

Support auctioning under-used broadcast and federal spectrum for exclusive use by commercial networks.

The Republican Party platform calls for an inventory of federal spectrum to identify surplus spectrum to auction for exclusive use by licensed users.

Would not place net neutrality conditions on spectrum auctions and would allocate much less spectrum to “White Spaces” and other unlicensed uses.

Net Neutrality

 

 

 

Net Neutrality Continued..

Pledged strong support for net neutrality in 2008 campaign and endorsed FCC’s Open Internet Rules. The FCC has kept the Title II Docket open in order to induce compliance with Open Internet rules.

Support exemption of wireless networks from most net neutrality rules.

Prefer to rely on market forces and disclosure to discipline carrier behavior and increase investment.

Republican Party platform calls FCC’s net neutrality rule an attempt to “micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network.”93

  Republican FCC appointees have indicated that they would desire to close the Title II Docket and to exclude both wired and wireless networks from net neutrality rules

1996 Telecom Act

The Obama Administration has supported Congressional efforts to amend the Telecom Act with net neutrality principles.

Republican Party platform declares the Act is “woefully out of date” and calls for “a more modern relationship” between industry and the federal government.

Telecommunications Pricing and Subsidies

Support FCC’s efforts to replace telephone network universal service with a new program to bring broadband to unserved rural and poor areas with appropriate subsidies.

Support use of “reverse auctions” to invest subsidy dollars most efficiently.

FCC has suspended “special access” Internet backhaul de-regulation and opened a docket on potential price controls.

Support FCC’s efforts to replace telephone network universal service with a new program to bring broadband to unserved rural and poor areas with appropriate subsidies.

Republican Platform calls for “public-private partnerships to provide predictable support for connecting rural areas.”94

Favor continued de-regulation of special access” Internet backhaul and private investment in fiber.

International Internet Governance

State Department has taken a strong position against the desire of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to exercise control over the pricing of Internet interconnections and technical standards.

Support continuation of current decentralized, multi-stakeholder model. Democratic Party platform includes “Internet Freedom” language.

Strongly oppose an ITU takeover of interconnect pricing or technical standards.

Support continuation of current decentralized, multi-stakeholder model.

Republican Party platform includes “Internet Freedom” language.

Broadband Tax

Obama’s Federal Communications Commission announced in August 2012 that it was evaluating a proposal to tax broadband Internet service, with the funds backfilling the Universal Service Fund as it is transformed from a telephone oriented subsidy program to a broadband-centric one. However, in September 2012, the FCC backpedalled from this position.

Campaign has not articulated a similar position.

However, Republican appointees to the FCC support transforming Universal Service from telephony to broadband and are opposed to taxing broadband Internet access.

Network Research

Administration has supported an expansive research program supporting both basic and applied research.

Republican Party platform language acknowledges the unique role of university research in the development of network technology.

National Wireless Initiative

Introduce a national wireless initiative that will make high-speed wireless services available to at least 98 percent of Americans in conjunction with Universal Service Fund (USF) modernization.98

Campaign has not articulated a similar position.

However, Republican appointees to the FCC support USF modernization.

Key differences seem to hold to party line politics. However, judge for yourself on whether each candidate both articulated, and seem more likely to carry out a clear vision for the future of broadband in America.

Image via ITIF

Obama – Romney on Broadband Policy
Obama – Romney on Broadband Policy Leonard Grace (270 Posts)

Founder of Broadband Convergent, a Broadband-Mobile-Cable-Wireless-Telecom market website focused on highlighting industry news and strategic issues within technology arenas. Highly researched and experienced insights and trends both inform and enlighten readers on current industry convergence of Broadband-Cable-Mobile-Wireless and Telecom Sectors.

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