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Former FCC Chief Touts ‘Big Broadband’

The government should forget about over-the-air HDTV and switch all free television to a superfast "Big Broadband" network, former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt said in a paper published by the New America Foundation.

The new network could be provided to all Americans at one-fourth the cost to sustain a "little broadband network" and traditional communications services over today’s telephone, broadcast and cable networks, he said.

Any subsidies-and he predicted little would be needed-could be paid from existing universal service subsidies and proceeds from the auction of reclaimed TV spectrum. Without a government-directed switch to Big Broadband, which he defines as transmission at between 10 and 100 megabits per second, the transition will occur too slowly and reach too few of America’s underprivileged.