Why is this page text-only?

« Questions To Ask Your Policymakers About Broadband | Main | Ways That NTIA/RUS Are Failing Stimulus Applicants »

January 14, 2010 10:54 AM

We Don't Give the FCC Broadband Team Enough Credit

I've recently come to the realization that in my desire to see the national broadband plan do great things for America and my disappointment about the lower than hoped for trajectory its goals seem to currently be on, I've failed to appreciate and recognize something very important: the hard work being put in by a team of dedicated individuals at the FCC who are trying their best to craft a plan that's both aspirational and achievable.

I know some of the FCC national broadband plan team personally and can vouch for the fact that they're good people who are fully committed to their country's future and totally competent in their respective fields.

It can be easy to gloss over this fact, lumping them all together into a faceless mass while bemoaning what may be perceived as FCC inaction.

Alongside this is need to acknowledge the enormity of the challenge they face. They've had to go from zero to sixty in no time, attempting to come to a comprehensive understanding of a very wide range of issues, with entities on all sides trying to sway their opinion from all we need to do is tweak the system to it's time to start over entirely, with the pressure of needing to accomplish something great but being limited in terms of available capital and having to make sure that whatever's proposed in the plan is actionable rather than just feel-good, all while having to watch the clock tick down to B-Day.

To top it all off, it's likely that no matter what they do that everyone's going to be pissed off about something or other. Most of the more nuanced ideas they'll be proposing will be lost on a lot of decision makers. And the potential for this plan to turn into real action is not guaranteed, so all this work might be for naught.

It's easy to sit back, observe the process from afar, and pass judgment on what we perceive is insufficient action. And if you're on the frontlines of broadband policy it can be even easier to allow our passion to flame into frustration and then unfair characterizations. But we always need to temper that with the realization that there are good people at the FCC working hard to do right that face a monumental challenge.

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't question, criticize, and hold them accountable. That's our job as the public. But as we do so let's try to be constructive in our criticism and fair in our characterizations.

And to our friends and colleagues at the FCC, know that I and many others appreciate your hard work. That even if sometimes we're not satisfied with the scope of your plan, that's only because we believe so strongly in the importance of these issues to the future of our country.

The only way we're going to achieve great things is by working together and sharing a mutual respect that deep down we all share the same goals, namely seeing America achieve its full potential as a leader in the digital economy.

Del.icio.us Digg Yahoo! My Web Seed Newsvine reddit Technorati


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)