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Berkman Center Releases Broadband Study for FCC, Says Open Access Key to Competition, Performance

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University today announced the release of its 232-page study commissioned by the FCC examining global broadband deployment and usage. The draft of the study titled, “Next Generation Connectivity: A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world,” has now been posted for public comment.

From the report:

“Our most surprising and significant finding is that ‘open access’ policies—unbundling, bitstream access, collocation requirements, wholesaling, and/or functional separation—are almost universally understood as having played a core role in the first generation transition to broadband [dial-up to broadband] in most of the high performing countries; that they now play a core role in planning for the next generation transition [faster and always available connectivity]; and that the positive impact of such policies is strongly supported by the evidence of the first generation broadband transition.”

Further more:

“We find that in countries where an engaged regulator enforced open access obligations, competitors that entered using these open access facilities provided an important catalyst for the development of robust competition which, in most cases, contributed to strong broadband performance across a range of metrics.”

The report, led by Yochai Benkler, the Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center, is aimed at helping the FCC’s efforts in developing the National Broadband Plan.

Related Links:
• Full report available at the Berkman Center website.
Study Backs Open Access to Broadband Networks PCWorld, Oct.15.2009
U.S. broadband study says “open access” fosters competition Reuters, Oct.15.2009

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FCC Requests Comments on Berkman Center Report Robert Cannon  –  Oct 19, 2009 6:03 PM

As part of its work preparing the National Broadband Plan, the FCC has requested comments on the Berkman Center Report

10/14/09 Comments Sought on Broadband Study Conducted by The Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Public Notice:
Word http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-2217A1.doc
Acrobat http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-2217A1.pdf

Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on the following:

1.  Does the study accomplish its intended purposes?
2.  Does the study provide a complete and objective survey of the subject matter?
3.  How accurately and comprehensively does the study summarize the broadband experiences of other countries?
4.  How much weight should the Commission give to this study as it develops a National Broadband Plan?
5.  Are additional studies needed along the lines of the Berkman study?
6.  Please provide any other comments on the Berkman study that you deem relevant.

All comments should refer to GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51 and 09-137.  Please title comments responsive to this Notice as “Comments – NBP Public Notice # 13.” 

Comments can be filed at the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System

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