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    FCC Packs Broadband Advisory Group With Big Telecom Firms, Trade Groups

    NOTE: This is all about facilitating the roll of 5G across America. Industry donates to political parties and individual congressmen who then ‘repay’ the donation by approving industry appointments to key decision making agencies and committees. Its all examined in Nation on the Take. A good read.



    From Truthout

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 By Blake Dodge, The Center for Public Integrity | Report


    When the Federal Communications Commission went looking this year for experts to sit on an advisory committee regarding deployment of high-speed internet, Gary Carter thought he would be a logical choice. Carter works for the city of Santa Monica, California, where he oversees City Net, one of the oldest municipal-run networks in the nation. The network sells high-speed internet to local businesses, and uses the revenue in part to connect low-income neighborhoods.

    That experience seemed to be a good match for the proposed Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC), which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai created this year. One of the panel’s stated goals is to streamline city and state rules that might accelerate installation of high-speed internet. But one of the unstated goals, members say, is to make it easier for companies to build networks for the next generation wireless technology, called 5G. The advanced network, which promises faster speeds, will require that millions of small cells and towers be erected nationwide on city- and state-owned public property.

    Instead the FCC loaded the 30 member panel with corporate executives, trade groups and free-market scholars. More than three out of four seats on the BDAC are filled by business-friendly representatives from the biggest wireless and cable companies such as AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp., Sprint Corp., and TDS Telecom. Crown Castle International Corp., the nation’s largest wireless infrastructure company, and Southern Co., the nation’s second-largest utility firm, have representatives on the panel. Also appointed to the panel were broadband experts from conservative think tanks who have been critical of FCC regulations such as the International Center for Law and Economics and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

    The same lopsided ratio can be found on the BDAC’s four working groups that will propose changes to telecommunications policies that Pai views as barriers to broadband deployment. The municipal working group, with 24 members, is tasked with creating a model code for cities to follow that would expedite the deployment of cells and poles. The groups consist of BDAC members as well as additional people the FCC appointed, mostly from the telecommunications industry.

    The FCC says the makeup of the BDAC and its subgroups represents a diversity of views and those who best understand the issues. But local officials say their exclusion from the committee reflects a not-so-hidden agenda…


    Read the full article here


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