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FCC Chair Praises Industry Broadband Adoption Effort

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave props to the cable and tech industries Wednesday for stepping up to the plate with a multi-billion dollar broadband adoption effort.

Earlier this month, major cable operators including Time Warner Cable and Cox followed Comcast's Internet Essentials model in pledging to the FCC that they would offer low-cost ($9.95 per month and no activation fee) broadband for households with kids eligible for school lunches.

Genachowski used a broadband adoption update at the FCC's public meeting Wednesday to thank the private sector and nonprofits -- One Economy is motormanning the FCC's Connect to Compete adoption effort -- for stepping up and saying adoption was a national challenge and they wanted to be part of the solution. He added that he was looking for others to step up as well in the coming months.

Microsoft is offering low-cost ($250) computers as part of its contribution to the adoption push, and an FCC staffer said Wednesday that Discovery Channel educational content would be among that available on the default home page for those computers.

According to the commission, about 100 million people, or a third of the country, don't access broadband from home. Staffers providing the update said broadband connectivity was not a convenience, but a necessity.