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MMTC Proposes FCC Broadband Hearings to Help Develop Policy

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council (MMTC) has proposed a series of FCC broadband field hearings to help develop broadband policy and coordinate it with the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) and USDA.

All three will be instrumental in the Obama administration's national broadband rollout plan.

In a filing at the FCC Monday, MMTC, which represents a number of civil rights groups before the FCC and NTIA, said the commission should hold 15 such hearings in 2009, with all of the commissioners in attendance.

MMTC suggests there be eight hearings in urban areas, seven in rural areas, three of them near Native American lands, one in Puerto Rico, and several near towns and cities with minority mayors.

MMTC also suggests that the hearings be divided up into two panels, the first on deployment, competition and affordability, the second on adoption, utilization and literacy.

MMTC is likely preaching to the choir, or at least the choirmaster. Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps was a big supporter of the FCC field hearings on its ownership rule reform, at which the commissioners heard first-hand from academics, industry stakeholders and regular folks.