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Walden slams FCC's broadband report

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House telecom subpanel, made it clear Monday that he thinks the findings are without merit. 

“It is one thing to recognize that some areas of the country—typically rural—are difficult to serve; it is quite another to say that broadband is not being reasonably and timely deployed to all Americans," he said. 

"The former only requires the FCC to consider reform of the Universal Service Fund; the latter is a claimed excuse to impose network neutrality and to further regulate the Internet,” he said.

Walden cited figures that suggest the report was overly-negative. 

"It’s difficult to understand how an objective look at the facts can lead the FCC to conclude that our progress on broadband is lacking," House Communications subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement Monday.

He pointed out that industry invested $66 billion last year on deployment, which was $3 billion more than the previous year. 

Industry groups and Republicans Commissioner Robert McDowell were equally unimpressed with the FCC's findings. Last year was the first time in years that the FCC gave deployment a failing grade.

The FCC, for its part, included in the report recognition about the critical role of private industry in broadband deployment. An announcement about the report said: "The Report emphasizes that, notwithstanding our continuing broadband challenges, significant progress has been made over the past few years in both the private and public sectors. Despite the difficult economy, the private sector continues to invest tens of billions of dollars in broadband infrastructure each year - $65 billion in capital expenditures in 2010 alone - expanding capacity, increasing speeds on fixed networks and rolling out next-generation mobile services like 4G."