Genachowski, Abroad, Praises "A-Plus" Program

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave a shout-out to the cable industry’s Adoption-Plus (A-plus) program while on a trip to India this week.In a May 25 speech to the International Telecommunications Union’s World Telecommunications Development Conference in Hyderabad, India, he was talking about the National Broadband Plan’s support for public-private partnerships for broadband adoption and education, saying “the U.S. cable industry has announced a program to subsidize broadband connections to certain households with schoolchildren.” He also said the FCC was working with the industry on that proposed partnership.

But it will take government cash as well as cooperation to make that program work on a national scale. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association last fall proposed providing low-income families with middle-school kids half-price broadband service and half-price modems for two years, plus free installation. But that was contingent on government broadband stimulus funding (though not from the FCC) that has yet to materialize.

NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow told B&C earlier this month that given that lack of funding, he thought the program would wind up being more of a local effort with individual operators working with schools in their particular markets.

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