The first meeting of the FCC’s new Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee is set for April 21. The Commission received 380+ applications for the group.
“I’m excited that the Committee will soon be getting to work on recommendations that will help break down barriers to broadband deployment,” Chairman Ajit Pai said. “Closing the digital divide across America is my top priority, and the work of this committee will be a crucial step toward meeting that goal.”
Pai announced the appointment of 29 members. Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of Quintillion Subsea Operations, and Quintillion Networks, will Chair the BDAC, and Kelleigh Cole, Director of the Utah Broadband Outreach Center in the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, is Vice Chair. In the coming weeks, the BDAC expects to select 58 more people to serve on working groups.
There are five working groups so far:
- Model Code for Municipalities — Douglas Dimitroff of the New York State Wireless Association is Chair and the Honorable Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose, California, is Vice Chair.
- Model Code for States — Kelly McGriff of Southern Light is Chair and the Honorable Karen Charles Peterson, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable, for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners is Vice Chair.
- Competitive Access to Broadband Infrastructure — Ken Simon of Crown Castle is Chair and Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is Vice Chair.
- Removing State and Local Regulatory Barriers — Robert DeBroux of TDS Telecom is Chair and Kim Keenan of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is Vice Chair.
- Streamlining Federal Siting — Jonathan Adelstein of the Wireless Infrastructure Association is Chair and Valerie Fast Horse of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe is Vice Chair.
“As much as 30 percent of the United States’ land mass is owned or controlled by the federal government,” said Adelstein. “Opening access and streamlining siting on these lands is key to delivering broadband to more citizens, especially in rural America. We need to deploy comprehensive broadband networks that provide ubiquitous connectivity so the entire country can benefit from wireless broadband.”
Several Wireless Infrastructure Association members are named to the committee. In addition to Adelstein, Dimitroff and Simon, WIA members include: Marc Ganzi of Digital Bridge Holdings LLC and former Chairman of WIA; Chris Bondurant from AT&T Mobile; and Milo Medin of Google Fiber.
Pai announced the creation of the group in January, Inside Towers reported. According to the FCC, 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 often need technical help to draft policies that are conducive to broadband deployment. A model code approved by the FCC would empower any city to build a better regulatory environment for deployment, and any provider would have a better case for installing infrastructure, according to WIA.
April 7, 2017