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Leadership Conference: Advanced Telecom Deployment Is Not Reasonable, Timely

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says the FCC should stop acting as though advanced telecommunications is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely manner. 

The FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai reversed an earlier FCC's conclusion in the Sec. 706 report on communications deployment that it was not reasonable and timely because it was not yet available to all Americans. 

The FCC sought comment on its 2020 data collection for the next Sec. 706 report to Congress." 

Pai's FCC concluded in the previous two reports that three had been steady progress toward that goal, which meant that its deployment was being handled in an ongoing "reasonable and timely" fashion. 

A finding in the negative authorizes the FCC to regulate to make it so. The leadership conference says that is the case, and the FCC should "adopt subsidies, support digital inclusion programs, and bolster robust broadband Lifeline service" as ways to make it so. 

The conference says the FCC should treat mobile broadband as a complement, not a substitute, for fixed; that it should up its high-speed definition for advanced telecom from the current 25 Mbps upstream/3 Mbps downstream; and that it must measure deployment in terms of price, quality of service, uptake by race and other demos, data usage and subscription rates, as well as speeds, which should be actual speeds not advertised speeds.  

"While broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas has improved over the years, use and  adoption continue to be below optimal levels," it said.