GAO: Avoid fragmented broadband policies

GAO urges coordination among agencies

The Federal Communications Commission should coordinate federal agencies to ensure a unified approach and set performance measures when it develops a national broadband plan, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Under the economic stimulus law, the federal government will spend more than $7.2 billion through the Commerce and Agriculture departments and the FCC to increase broadband access in rural and underserved areas. The FCC is developing a national strategy to guide those programs.

To increase the chance of success, the FCC needs to work with the Commerce and Agriculture departments to ensure their plans are integrated and avoid duplication, states the GAO report issued June 10.

“This funding will greatly increase the potential for achieving universal access, but overlap in responsibilities for these new broadband initiatives makes coordination among the agencies important to avoid fragmentation and duplication,” the report states.

GAO also examined why the U.S. ranks 15th among 30 democratic nations that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of their broadband Internet subscribership.

Countries that are more successful in broadband subscriber rates have written broadband policies, action plans, goals and performance measures, GAO states. In addition, some of those countries offer financial incentives, financial support or other types of broadband support.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.