Broadband plan posited as threat to homeland security

The FCC's proposed national broadband plan has drawn lots of fire, but one particular objection that has recently arisen--that the plan would threaten homeland security--is more compelling than the rest. The objection builds from an argument that the FCC has an anti-broadcaster bias and that it is trying to disengage the broadcast industry while building up wireless broadband.

Developed by Tom Wolzien, a former NBC executive, the argument is that in the event of an apocalyptic national emergency a broadband network would be overwhelmed and therefore useless because "it's not meant to accommodate everyone's data communications needs at once."

Wolzien turned his objection into an argument for wider adoption of mobile digital TV instead, including a request that the FCC require digital TV in all mobile devices would have access to emergency broadcast messages. Wolzien's objection drew backhanded support from Derek Turner, research director at media reform advocate Free Press who replied that "it doesn't have to be an either-or proposition. I think what we're talking about here is making efficient use of the public airwaves."

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