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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

August 9, 2001

Mike Balmoris at (202) 418-0253


Notice of Inquiry Seeks Data to Determine Rate of Broadband Deployment

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiated its third inquiry under section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 into whether "advanced telecommunications capability" is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. Advanced telecommunications capability is the availability of high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications that enables users to originate and receive high- quality voice, data, graphics, and video using any technology.

In conjunction with today's inquiry, the Common Carrier Bureau released its most recent data, as of December 31, 2000, on subscribership to high-speed services (see attached).

In order to make informed judgments about whether broadband deployment is reasonable and timely, the Notice of Inquiry issued today seeks objective, empirical data about the current state of broadband deployment. Specifically, the Commission seeks information regarding the extent to which broadband infrastructure is being deployed, and asks the following:

  1. Is advanced telecommunications capability being deployed to all Americans? The inquiry seeks data that will enable the Commission to measure investment in and deployment of advanced telecommunications capability, and subscription for different technologies, geographic areas and diverse socio-economic groups.

  2. Is overall deployment reasonable and timely? The inquiry seeks comment on the evaluative criteria used to determine whether the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability is reasonable and timely.

  3. If deployment is not reasonable and timely, what actions will accelerate deployment? The inquiry then seeks comment on the actions the Commission could undertake if it determines that advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.

The Commission gathers data about deployment of, and subscription to, high-speed and advanced services from facilities-based providers who have 250 or more high-speed service lines or wireless channels in service in a state, using Form 477. At the request of carriers submitting Form 477, the Commission does not reveal individual company data.

The Commission's previous section 706 reports were released in February 1999 and August 2000. In the last report, the Commission found that deployment of advanced telecommunications capability generally appeared reasonable and timely, although certain groups of consumers may be vulnerable to not receiving timely deployment of advanced telecommunications capability by market forces alone.

As required by statute, the Commission will conclude this inquiry and issue its third Report to Congress within 180 days.


CC Docket No. 98-146

Action by the Commission August 9, 2001, by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 01-223). Chairman Powell and Commissioners Tristani, Abernathy, Copps, and Martin; with Commissioner Martin issuing a statement.

Common Carrier Bureau Staff Contact: Ellen Blackler or Jack Zinman (202) 418-1500

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