The FCC has tapped Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society to help review the current data on broadband deployment worldwide.
FCC Chairman and Harvard grad Julius Genachowski said Tuesday that study would "help lay the foundation for enlightened, data-driven decision-making" as the commission prepares a national broadband rollout plan.
Blair Levin, who is overseeing the production of that plan, due to Congress Feb. 17, has said that the commission would start with data, not conclusions, about broadband deployment. But he also said in announcing Harvard's help that "we don't want to reinvent the wheel. Knowing what has already been learned will improve our ability to deliver the best possible national broadband plan."
Results of the Harvard review will be made public, said Genachowski, in keeping with his pledge of openness and transparency.
Levin has an ambitious timetable for the plan, including holding over 20 workshops in August adn early September. The first "milestone" for that workshop comes up July 16, when the FCC plans to post the names of the coordinators for those workshops, which include business, healthcare, e-government, job training, energy, public safety and more.