The Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee will get its bite at the FCC's national broadband plan April 27.
According to a spokesperson for the committee, chaired by Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, the hearing will look both at the impact of the FCC's recently announced national broadband plan on small businesses, as well as review the efforts to date of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and Rural Utilities Service, which between them are handing out $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus dollars.
The FCC this week announced an aggressive rollout schedule for implementing the plan. Its small-business boosting elements include launching within the next three months a public notice on a "coherent, comprehensive framework for addressing a number of wholesale competition policy issues that affect the small business market." Those include "wholesale obligations raised in pending proceedings."
But the end of the year, the FCC has said it will issue a notice of inquiry on a framework for addressing wholesale competition issues.
Vice President Joe Biden has emphasized the value of broadband deployment in helping small businesses compete with larger ones and off-shore operations, which he says will stimulate the economy, and save and create jobs.