Last week the Innovation Technology and Information Foundation released a report comparing the expected policies and platforms of President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and the Republican and Democratic parties in a number of areas including broadband, special access, and spectrum. Here is a summation of the findings in the report.
On broadband, specifically a digital infrastructure, President Obama has promoted a robust wireless and wireline broadband infrastructure capable of supporting an enhanced electrical grid, health care, and education. The Romney campaign has not articulated a position on the nation’s digital infrastructure.
The Obama Administration would like to see high-speed wireless capability within reach of 98% of Americans. The Romney campaign has not taken a position on expanding high-speed wireless access, but current FCC members agree with Democrats on the issue of modernizing the Universal Service Fund mechanism to support access to broadband.
In the area of special access, the Democratic majority on the FCC supports suspending deregulation of special access, while Republicans want to see deregulation continued.
Republicans and Democrats agree that the USF should be modernized so that rural and underserved households receive greater access to broadband services.
Republicans are opposed to the FCC’s net neutrality rules that were imposed in December 2010. Democrats, including the President, have been steadfast about removing the rules. While Democrats would like to see net neutrality rules not applied to wireless services, Republicans want the same forbearance for both broadband wireline and wireless services.
Can we really say we see any surprises?