NATOA calls for net neutrality, high-capacity fiber networks

by Linda Haugsted, Multichannel News

The National Association of Telecommunications Officer & Advisors, the trade group for local regulators, has created a national broadband policy strategy calling for net neutrality and nationwide deployment of advanced deployment of two-way, high-capacity networks.

Fiber to the home is the preferred deployment, according to NATOA. That's the platform being built by Verizon Communications Inc.; cable's fiber deployment is to the node, not the premises. High-capacity coaxial cable or Wi-Fi technologies are acceptable to the group, as long as they provide consumers service levels that meet NATOA's other goals.

Further, local governments must be allowed to build and operate broadband networks, according to NATOA's broadband principles.

The lack of a national strategy has effectively ceded control of the country's broadband destiny to private markets, the group said.

That has led to slow broadband speeds at high prices, compared with the rest of the world; throttling of content and little real competition, according to NATOA.

To pursue its stated goals, NATOA has joined Internet for Everyone, the national initiative promoting Internet ubiquity; and has partnered with BroadbandCensus.com, a web service that provides information to the public and policy-makers about local broadband ability, competition, speeds and service. The group is also a member of National Public Lightpath, a coalition to advocate for public participation in Next Generation Internet, and to advise policy-makers on a national infrastructure strategy.

The white paper also stresses that local governments must be involved in deployment of broadband to ensure that local needs are met. In reality, local regulators have lost most of their regulatory oversight over the video portion of broadband providers' platforms in almost half of U.S. states due to the passage of state franchising laws.

NATOA has also filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission on its ongoing proceeding on national broadband policy

article originally published at http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6579639.html?desc=topstory.

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