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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).

February 27, 1998


FCC Chairman William E. Kennard announced seven principles for increasing the availability of bandwidth for American consumers. Kennard outlined his "guideposts for bandwidth" in remarks to the Alliance for Public Technology in Washington, DC, after he received the organization's Susan Hadden Pioneer Award for pionering efforts in telecommunications and consumer access.

Kennard said "Like its appetite for ever-increasing computing power, I believe our nation will have an ever more voracious appetite for data transmission capacity, sometimes called 'bandwidth.' . . .The key to satisfying this expectation will be providing sufficient processing power and transmission capacity to meet the demand of bandwidth consuming applications. This includes creating the right conditions for companies to compete in delivering high bandwidth services over the 'last mile' as well as increasing the capacity and speed of high capacity backbone networks."

To achieve this result, he offered seven guideposts, or principles, that he will follow in making decisions:

  1. Competitive provision — The best way to ensure more bandwidth is to encourage local competition, by having as many providers as possible competing to deploy faster access.

  2. Incumbents as well as new entrants — We should give incumbents the flexibility to deploy high-bandwidth services, while ensuring that new entrants are able to provide competitive facilities or services into the home.

  3. Technological neutrality — We should not try to pick winners between competing technologies but should let the market decide which technologies best meet user needs in each locale.

  4. Community-building — We must ensure the availability of high-bandwidth connections not only to businesses, but to homes, schools, and health care facilities across America, and giving these users as wide a choice of providers as possible, will help to lower the cost of providing service.

  5. Common sense — We want to eliminate rules that may hinder possible providers — whether incumbents or newcomers — from deploying high bandwidth facilities and services and that do not create a level playing field for competition, build communities, or protect consumers.

  6. Competition as a path to deregulation — As users substitute new services based upon increased bandwidth, economic regulation of traditional services can be lifted.

  7. Incentives for efficient investment — Government should provide a sensible, clear framework based upon sound economic principles that gives the private sector the confidence to invest in new high-bandwidth technologies.

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