By Tony Romm - 03/15/10 06:21 PM EDT
The top House member also praised the FCC for pitching proposals to auction off available D-block wireless spectrum as one way to pay for the creation of a nationwide, interoperable communication channel for law enforcement and first responders. The congressman noted in his release it would even be "appropriate for Congress to appropriate public funds to supplement" those auction proceeds.
Ultimately, it remains unclear whether other lawmakers will share Boucher's enthusiasm for broad swaths of the FCC's broadband plan, which Congress ordered in 2009 as part of its $787-billion stimulus. But he will have at least one key ally: Rep. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline Senate Dems ask Obama to block Atlantic, Arctic offshore drilling Federal agency under fire for selling recalled cars MORE (D-Mass.), who first pitched the idea of a National Broadband Plan to guide the FCC's work.
"This plan will lower and remove barriers to new competition in
services, networks and devices," Markey said earlier on Monday in a statement, calling the plan "visionary."
"And it will
enable state-of-the-art, high-speed access to educational
opportunities, improved healthcare, increased energy efficiency and
other national priorities," he said.