capabilities and subscription;
WHEREAS, Rural, low-density population areas in some portions of the United States have less access to broadband service than many urban areas, and market conditions have not resulted in private investment in the infrastructure necessary to bring or increase broadband access to households and businesses in unserved and underserved areas;
WHEREAS, Subscription rates to broadband service remain relatively low even where it is available, particularly among low-income, minority and elderly consumers, due to such factors as lack of a home computer, lack of training in the access and use of broadband service, high or unaffordable recurring and non-recurring costs of service, or unreliable network facilities;
WHEREAS, Past policy decisions of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), in conjunction with several judicial decisions and inaction by Congress and States, have effectively created an incumbent telephone and cable-controlled duopoly for broadband service that has stymied innovation and reduced or eliminated any constraints on pricing, network access or service quality;
WHEREAS, Past FCC and State efforts to gather accurate, up-to-date, detailed information regarding such matters as the extent and location of broadband deployment, subscription rates and service capabilities have been hampered by either flawed assumptions or continued industry resistance to full disclosure and transparency;
WHEREAS, The National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (“NASUCA”) has consistently called for the adoption and implementation of broadband policies and actions at both the Federal and State level that would ensure the deployment of affordable broadband to all Americans while promoting competition, consumer protection and open access;
WHEREAS, In the last two years Congress and the Obama Administration have responded by enacting several laws to address these and other shortcomings in national broadband policy;
WHEREAS, The FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the Rural Utilities Service, have issued notices of inquiry requesting comment regarding various aspects of their implementation of the broadband objectives contained in the aforementioned laws; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That NASUCA supports implementation of the aforementioned laws in accordance both with prior NASUCA resolutions related to broadband service and deployment and with the following principles:
• Emphasizing capital expenditures to construct broadband infrastructure to bring service to households and businesses in unserved and underserved areas of the U.S. while avoiding funding duplicative or redundant infrastructure in such areas, with priority given to deploying broadband to unserved areas;
• Increasing subscribership for next generation broadband service in areas where it is currently available;
• Ensuring that any broadband infrastructure developed with public moneys provides for open, nondiscriminatory access among competing service or content providers to broadband infrastructure built with the public’s money, and requires funding decisions to be directed to the most efficient broadband provider based on technologically and competitively neutral criteria such as quality, price and transmission capacity or speed;
• Facilitating public involvement in any broadband infrastructure developed with public moneys by distributing stimulus funds and assistance to public bodies and non-profit organizations that undertake to stimulate broadband deployment, subscription and utilization, either alone or in partnership with private enterprise;
• Recognizing that America’s diverse demography, geography and topography requires the adoption of a “one size fits none” approach to stimulating broadband deployment, subscription and utilization that draws heavily upon States’ greater familiarity with local conditions and needs;
• Ensuring that there is full accountability and procedural and substantive transparency from both recipients of public funding intended to stimulate broadband deployment, subscription and utilization, as well as from those Federal or State bodies involved in broadband stimulus efforts;
• Ensuring that all decisions and actions intended to stimulate broadband deployment, subscription and utilization are, to the fullest extent possible, transparent and that information developed or acquired in association with such broadband stimulus efforts should be publicly available to the greatest extent possible;
• Ensuring that adequate safeguards are adopted and enforced to prevent conflicts of interest or bias, real or perceived, from tainting the actions or decisions of Federal or State bodies involved in broadband stimulus efforts, and in particular the award or distribution of public funds associated with efforts to stimulate broadband deployment, subscription and utilization;
• Requiring greater and continuing coordination between Federal bodies charged with implementing Congress’ broadband stimulus legislation, and between such Federal bodies and States and longstanding consumer advocacy organizations; and
• Urging Federal bodies whose jurisdiction includes broadband services, and in particular the FCC, to undertake a comprehensive review of prior decisions and policies that have adversely affected broadband deployment, subscription and utilization and to take appropriate actions to reverse such decisions or policies or otherwise mitigate their effects; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the NASUCA Telecommunications Committee, with the approval of the Executive Committee of NASUCA, is authorized to submit comments or otherwise participate in all Federal or State efforts related to stimulating broadband deployment, subscription and utilization consistent with this Resolution in order to secure its implementation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the NASUCA Telecommunications Committee, with the approval of the Executive Committee of NASUCA, is authorized to take any and all other actions consistent with this Resolution in order to secure its implementation.
Approved by NASUCA
Place: Boston, MA
Date June 30, 2009
Submitted by the:
 By “broadband,” NASUCA means, at a minimum, any service with information transfer rates equal to or greater than 768 kbps in both directions, corresponding to the lower limit of “basic broadband tier 1 service” as currently defined by the FCC. See In re: Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate Reasonable and Timely Deployment of Advanced Services to All Americans, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 23 F.C.C.R. 9691, 9700-01, ¶20 & n. 66 (June 12, 2008).
 See NASUCA Resolution No. 2008-01 (encouraging Congress to enact legislation to establish a national broadband policy that includes consumer protections enforced by state agencies and supporting ubiquitous broadband deployment, including the use of federal universal service funds); NASUCA Resolution No. 2007-07 (encouraging Congress, the FCC and States to prohibit telephone companies from increasing telecommunications rates and charges to subsidize deployment or operation of video services); NASUCA Resolution No. 2004-05 (urging Congress to create a consumer Bill of Rights that, among other things, guarantees consumers the right of open access to services and content regardless of the network they choose to use); NASUCA Resolution No. 2000-06 (supporting the timely, equitable, reasonable and ubiquitous deployment of high quality advanced telecommunications services to ensure that residential and small business consumers have access to a global economy, participation in all forms of government communications, and benefit from enhanced economic development and educational opportunities); NASUCA Resolution No. 2000-04 (supporting a policy of open access to cable facilities used to provide telecommunications services).
 See, respectively, Pub. L. No. 110-246 (‘‘Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008”); Pub. L. No. 110-385 (“Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008”); Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (“American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”).