Two views of broadband: Culberson rakes FCC plan, Tasmanians on point in Australia

The FCC's goal of taking control of the Internet as part of a national broadband plan--including some degree of regulation--is inappropriate and perhaps even illegal, according to Texas Republican Congressman John Culberson, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science.

"The FCC cannot regulate the Internet without clear and unambiguous statutory authority from Congress, which it does not have," Culberson wrote in a Roll Call post, adding that rather than seek permission, the FCC "lawyered up and attempted to bend the rules to its liking."

Culberson wrote that he "forcefully" opposes "the legal misadventures of the FCC" and that the only parts of the Internet that need regulation are cybercrime and eliminating child pornography.

Meanwhile, a world away--literally--citizens of Smithton, Tasmania are among the first to be part of Australia's ambitious $43 billion broadband plan to connect 11 million homes and businesses, employ about 20,000 workers and install about 250,000 kilometers of cable as part of the "single largest nation-building infrastructure project in Australia's history," according to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It all starts in the town of 3,500 or so forestry workers, fishermen, dairy farmers and vegetable growers on Tasmania's northwest coast.

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