The Federal Communications Commission asked Congress this week for a one-month extension to its Feb. 17 deadline for a report on a national broadband plan, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
The agency said it needed more time to fully brief commissioners and key members of Congress, to get additional input from stakeholders, and to digest the exhaustive record.
"Broadly, the plan is expected to suggest that the U.S. overhauls its $7 billion annual federal phone-subsidy program to cover broadband lines and that FCC needs to reallocate some airwaves for wireless carriers to offer broadband instead," the Wall Street Journal described. "The plan also will offer ideas for how the U.S. can encourage more Americans to subscribe to broadband services."
The FCC issued a preliminary report earlier this year that called for "universal service," which should encompass broadband Internet access in the same way that it originally encompassed telephone access.
House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller have indicated that they are amenable to the request.