ALA files comments to FCC on advisory role to NTIA and RUS

Contact: Jenni Terry

ALA Washington



For Immediate Release

April 14, 2009

, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) today submitted a
filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its call for comments to help inform the commission’s consultative role in the broadband provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Libraries, as key community service entities, support multiple-user environments and provide no-fee Internet access to the public.

The ALA’s commented on the following:

  • The residential determination of the definitions of “unserved” and “underserved” does not apply to libraries.
  • Broadband should be defined as expansively as possible as connection speeds that might be sufficient for home users are inadequate for libraries.
  • Require commercial Internet service providers a basic and enforceable non-discrimination requirement (i.e., supporting network neutrality) and not impose any new requirements beyond existing statutory obligations.
  • Remain technologically neutral to allow individual communities to determine the most appropriate broadband connectivity (e.g, fiber optic cable wireless satellite).

These comments mirror ALA’s comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and are part of the ALA’s ongoing efforts to secure ARRA funding for libraries.