The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, held a public hearing in Charleston Tuesday at Trident Technical College on the development of a National Broadband Plan. Residents of both rural and urban areas attended a meeting with FCC and community leaders in Charleston to discuss broadband availability, broadband adoption, and the challenges America is facing.
Critics have recently attacked the FCC for not putting more importance on consumer interests when it comes to broadband connections. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn attended the hearing and heard the concerns and challenges to a National Broadband Plan. She spoke with SCRN Charleston affiliate WTMA.
“As I speak with people across this state and across this nation I hear that the availability and the deployment of broadband can literally transform rural communities. It could make them competitive with the big cities, it could help them attract businesses to their areas that has suffered for years,” says Clyburn.
In broadband connection, the wider the bandwidth, the greater the information-carrying capacity. The effort is aimed at giving lower-income areas more Internet capabilities. Clyburn says broadening the width would open up doors for these more socio-economic challenged areas.
“Definitely the great equalizer. It could put a community on par with anyone else in the world in terms of accessibility insert, in terms of promoting them at a relatively low cost,” says Clyburn.
Clyburn explains the funding process she foresees and she says it will take everyone’s participation.
“Meaning a public-private partnership. You’ve got the federal government funding or commissioning this study, that’s basically what we are doing. And, we’ve got two entities within the federal government that are submitting or have made grants available to urban cities and rural communities,” says Clyburn.
Clyburn says they will hold a series of meetings throughout the fall season before addressing Congress next session on the plan for broadband.