Harvard broadband report up for review

Three months ago, the FCC asked Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society to conduct a comprehensive review of the existing literature and data about broadband deployment around the world. The FCC will use that report as it puts together its National Broadband Plan, which is due to Congress in four months.

Now the agency wants the public's opinion about the 232-page report and is seeking comments. The FCC wants to know how objective the report is and how much weight it should be given as the broaband plan is being developed.

The FCC has asked for plenty of data of its own, and broadband companies are busy filing comments about how they'd like to see broadband be deployed across the country. (As of last month, Blair Levin, who is leading the broadband plan effort, said there were more than 41,000 pages of comments that needed to be sifted through.)

One interesting passage:

"Our most surprising and significant finding is that “open access” policies...are almost universally understood as having played a core role in the first generation transition to broadband in most of the high performing countries... The evidence suggests that transposing the experience of open access policy from the first generation transition to the next generation is playing a central role in current planning exercises throughout the highest performing countries. In Japan and South Korea, the two countries that are half a generationahead of the next best performers, this has taken the form of opening up not only the fiber infrastructure (Japan) but also requiring mobile broadband access providers to open up their networks to competitors."