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The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Wednesday, September 11

A Modern FCC

By Brad

In a speech yesterday at the Media Institute, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President Jim Cicconi argued the FCC needed to change with the times or risk becoming irrelevant. As John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports:

Framing the speech as advice to incoming chairman Tom Wheeler, Cicconi suggested it would be Wheeler’s task to fix the problem rather than Congress’ because it was next to impossible to get any major legislation through Congress.

He said the FCC is still geared to an era when wireline voice was a monopoly, the Internet was nonexistent, broadcaster and cable divided up the video audience and wireless was a niche service.

To make his point, Cicconi offered up some stats. Skype has 500 million registered users. AT&T and Verizon together have 21 million traditional access lines. “What’sApp, a very popular over-the-top text messaging application, sent or received 27 billion texts in one single day…“It’s not complicated,” he says.

“In this situation, the FCC’s historic mission must be modernized to reflect the fundamental evolution in communications that IP technology and the Internet have wrought.  If it doesn’t, the agency will become irrelevant,” Cicconi says.

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