Yochai Benkler (long-time commons defender and writer of “Wealth of Networks”) and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard have produced for the FCC a report on broadband around the world. The report (PDF) is now open for public comment (FCC directions for public comment are here). Comments look to be due by November 16, 2009.
In an interview on the Berkman site, Benkler stated:
I think there are two pieces of news that will be most salient for people as they look at this report. The first is a response to the question: ‘how are we [the U.S.] doing?’, and the answer is that we’re overall middle-of-the-pack, no better. The second responds to the question: ‘What policies and practices worked for countries that have done well?’, and the answer to that is: there is good evidence to support the proposition that a family of policies called ‘open access,’ that encourage competition, played an important role.
Here’s the FCC’s public notice:
On July 14, the Commission announced in a press release that Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society would conduct an expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world to inform the Commission’s development of a National Broadband Plan.
A draft of the study has now been completed. The Commission is seeking public comment on the study, and has posted the draft for public review at the following Internet address:
Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on the following:
- Does the study accomplish its intended purposes?
- Does the study provide a complete and objective survey of the subject matter?
- How accurately and comprehensively does the study summarize the broadband experiences of other countries?
- How much weight should the Commission give to this study as it develops a National Broadband Plan?
- Are additional studies needed along the lines of the Berkman study?
- Please provide any other comments on the Berkman study that you deem relevant.
Comments look to be due by November 16, 2009.