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FCC outlines 'national purposes' of broadband plan

Leaders of the federal task force developing a national broadband plan today outlined some of the recommendations they will make to Congress next month outlining policy reforms that could capitalize on high-speed Internet technology to advance broad-ranging national goals, such as healthcare, energy and education.

The broadband plan, which the Federal Communications Commission was directed to develop in last year's economic stimulus bill, was initially due to be delivered to Congress on Feb. 17, but the commission asked for a one-month extension, and is now racing toward the new March 17 deadline.

In addition to the typical considerations of the broadband debate, such as deployment, speed, cost and adoption rates, the FCC's national broadband plan is also taking aim at larger "national purposes."

Blair Levin, executive director of the FCC's Omnibus Broadband Initiative, said the plan aimed to unearth "new solutions to previously intractable problems."

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