Posts Taged julius-genachowski

FCC Realizes That Digital Literacy and Rural Access Are Key To Closing The Digital Divide

As Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke a panel at the Edtech conference two themes echoed loud and clear. He mention broadband is no longer a luxury and the two areas we need to focus on are digital literacy and Rural broadband access.

There is no question that today being digitally literate is essential to participate in our economy, and there is no question that these technologies provide the opportunities to equalize opportunity,” he said. “The costs of digital exclusion are growing larger.”

Although the United States has mobile innovation that’s”the envy of the world,” the nation has significant gaps and challenges, the chairman conceded.

In particular, there is a broadband deployment gap in areas of rural America, with about 20 million people living in areas without broadband service.

Hearing the chairman publicly commit to making these obstacles his focus is encouraging. We need to make sure that we work and push to make those roadblocks become things of the past. As the chairman mentioned the opportunities are too great not to.

Broadband Is The Digital Uniter

That is what the FCC chairman stated at the recent Rainbow/PUSH Telecom Summit last week. He also stated “Closing the digital divide is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time,” Which I believe is 100% true.  These statements fall in line with proposed National Broadband Plan. During his talk he also sited that  relevance  and cost were two main barriers to broadband adoption among minorities. I’ve said that for some time now and I’m excited to see him making those statements.  I believe the relevance  issue is key and believe there are things we can do now to encourage more of an interest in broadband and also push people to want be part of the creation of the next generation of web tools. The chairmen mentioned some of the digital literacy programs that have been put in place (Digital Connectors by One economy and Comcast) but I want to see even more. The next stage is digital entrepreneurship programs that push minorities to be creators in this space. As we move towards making those things a reality I agree with the FCC chair that broadband can truly be a Digital Uniter.

1,800 Days Is Not As Far Away As You Think

Five years seem like a long time away, especially in days when everyone seems to be focused on the next election (which is a really important one), or the next football game, or a favorite TV program  (I’ll confess, I’m waiting for the next episode of “Lie To Me.”)   But we better start acting like it is approaching quickly. Think about how as all those events come and go, how much we call, search, text, and tweet about them over our mobile devices. It’s become a part of everything we do and how we experience those big events in the world.

Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission recgonizes that fact, and the FCC’s new study  wants makes sure everyone understands the risks of ignoring  that growth and the issues as well as the societal and economic benefits of ensuring that communication can continue to flourish and there is enough wireless spectrum available. They also show some ideas on how to achieve success.

Consider this: Estimates are, in about 1,800 days it is likely that mobile data demand will exhaust spectrum resources.  The new report estimates that mobile broadband traffic will increase by 35 times the amount of recent levels. Spectrum is the “oxygen of our mobile communications infrastructure,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.  The value of this exploding spectrum market is about $120 billion in the next five years.

These are the topics that I want to see get more attention. We need to focus on the things that will have a real affect on our future. Spending time on things such as Net Neutrality, keeps their focus away from issues like this that will clearly effect our future –  because 1800 days will pass before you know it!

The full FCCstudy can be found at: http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2010/db1021/DOC-302324A1.pdf
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