"Access to broadband is increasingly critical for all Americans, no matter who they are or where they live," said Pai. "It's becoming the 21st-century gateway to jobs, health care, education, information, and economic development everywhere, from the smallest town to the largest city. That makes it imperative for us to remove regulatory barriers to the deployment of high-speed Internet access."
The committee will focus on developing specific recommendations on how the FCC can encourage broadband deployment across America. Issues the committee will tackle include further reforms to the FCC's pole attachment rules; identifying unreasonable regulatory barriers to broadband deployment; ways to encourage local governments to adopt deployment-friendly policies; and other reforms within the scope of the commission's authority.
In particular, one of the committee's first tasks will be drafting a model code covering local franchising, zoning, permitting and rights-of-way regulations. Many localities may not currently have or be able to develop policies conducive to deployment. The model code is intended to let cities build a better regulatory environment for deployment, thus making such cities more attractive to service providers.
The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee is intended to be drawn from a diverse set of stakeholders. Representatives of consumers and community groups, the communications industry, and federal, state, local, and tribal officials are encouraged to apply.
Individuals or organizations interested in serving on the Committee should visit www.fcc.gov/broadband-deployment-advisory-committee for information on the nominating process. The FCC will accept nominations until Feb. 15. The commission expects to hold its first meeting of the new committee this spring.