Hundt: Internet Is the New Broadcasting and Cable
Former FCC chairman says broadband plan will mark net as new common medium
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/12/2010 12:02:05 PM
That is according to a video of a speech at Columbia University, first reported Friday (March 12) by TVNewsCheck and coming only days before the new national broadband plan is to be unveiled.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has said that the FCC is not out to force broadcasters off their spectrum, though the plan will include a proposal to pay broadcasters who want to give up some spectrum for wireless broadband.
"While overwhelmingly -- roughly 90% -- of Americans receive their broadcast TV programming in most major markets through cable wires or satellite signals, there are still millions of Americans who receive TV through over-the-air antenna TV," the chairman said in announcing the spectrum reclamation proposal. " Broadcasters would be able to continue to serve their communities with free over-the-air local news, information, and entertainment; and they would be able to experiment [with] mobile TV. "
Hundt, two of whose top staffers during his chairmanship in the mid-1990's are FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and broadband plan top advisor Blair Levin, said that he decided in 1994 that the Internet should be the common medium of the nation and broadcasting should not be.
He said he did a lot of things between 1994 and 1997 to bring that about. He said the fundamental decision was to allow computers to connect to the Internet for free. He said we "stole" the value of the Internet from the telephone companies and gave it to the public.
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