- E-Gov/Civic Engagement (8/6/09)
- Technology/Fixed Broadband (8/13/09)
- Technology/Wireless (8/13/09)
- International Lessons (8/18/09)
- Opportunities for Small and Disadvantaged Businesses (8/18/09)
- Broadband Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities (8/20/09)
- Education (8/20/09)
- Public Safety and Homeland Security (8/25/09)
- Smart Grid, Broadband and Climate Change (8/25/09)
- Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Private Investment (8/26/09)
- Job Training (8/26/09)
- Technology/Applications and Devices (8/27/09)
- State and Local Governments: Toolkits and Best Practices (9/1/09)
- Benchmarks (9/2/09)
- Big Ideas with Potential to Substantially Change the Internet (9/3/09)
- Broadband Consumer Context (9/9/09)
- Health Care (9/15/09)
- The Role of Content in the Broadband Ecosystem (9/17/09)
- Spectrum (9/17/09)
- Cyber Security (9/30/09)
- Diversity and Civil Rights Issues in Broadband Policy (10/2/09)
- Economic Issues in Broadband Competition (10/9/09)
- Broadband Accessibility for People with Disabilities II: Barriers, Opportunities and Policy Recommendations (10/20/09)
- Capitalization Strategies for Small and Disadvantaged Businesses (11/12/09)
- Future Fiber Architectures and Local Deployment Choices (11/19/09)
- Research Recommendations for the Broadband Task Force (11/23/09)
- Lessons for the National Broadband Plan from Local Officials Representing Under-served Communities (12/9/09)
- Global Broadband Connects America and the World: Infrastructure, Services and Applications (12/10/09)
- Review and Discussion of Broadband Deployment Research (12/10/09)
- Broadband and New Media Strategies for Minority Radio (1/26/10)
- The Broadband Availability Gap (5/6/10)
Workshop: Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of these staff workshops?
- What is the ex parte process?
- Why are they called staff workshops?
- Are they open to the public?
- In a typical ex parte meeting, an outside party requests the meeting and then presents, and then staff asks questions. Is that how these meetings will work?
- Will the FCC staff also present?
- Will staff be inviting specific parties to present in advance?
- Will the public be able to make comments or ask questions?
- Why is the FCC still holding private ex parte meetings on the National Broadband Plan instead of making them all open to the public?
- Will there be an official record of these meetings?
- Will these be included in the record even though the comment date is past?
- What is the difference between a staff meeting and a hearing?
- Will the commissioners participate?
- How do you ensure an honest and frank exchange of ideas in such a public forum?
- How are you involving the public in these hearings?
- Will announcing them on the web and through the press effectively publicize the workshops beyond the normal inside crowd?
- Will there be other opportunities for the public to participate?
- First, to open up the ex parte process, which is usually behind closed doors, to the public, so that the public can see the debate as it unfolds
- Second, to allow the public to participate by suggesting topics, suggesting questions, and being able to file comments on the discussions that take place at the workshops
- Third, to efficiently use staff time and the time of others by taking what are usually multiple meetings and compressing them into a single meeting at the workshop
- Fourth, bringing all the parties together in public will clarify what are the key facts, issues, and proposed solutions to bringing more broadband to more Americans.
But it should be noted that these workshops are just a part of the process. There will also be field hearings, commission meetings, and other workshops in the fall that will provide further information about the direction of the national broadband plan.
Typically, an ex parte presentation is a communication made by outside parties to FCC staff or commissioners regarding the merits or outcome of a proceeding. Typically, these presentations are made behind closed doors and are not open to the public. The staff workshops make the ex parte process more open to the public by opening up presentations to which the public does not normally have access.
The ex parte rules specify three types of Commission proceedings for ex parte purposes: "exempt" proceedings, in which ex parte presentations may be made freely, "permit-but-disclose" proceedings, in which ex parte presentations to Commission decision-making personnel are permissible but subject to certain disclosure requirements (i.e., a copy of written presentations and a summary of oral presentations must be filed in the record), and "restricted" proceedings, in which ex parte presentations to and from Commission decision-making personnel are generally prohibited (i.e., written materials must generally be served on all parties and all parties must have an opportunity to be present at oral presentations.)
Staff is running them and they are designed to be more like an informal discussion than a formal hearing.
Yes, both live and over the Internet. Live video links for each workshop will be available by going to http://www.broadband.gov/workshops.html and clicking on the individual issue on the schedule.
Yes, except instead of being hidden from the public and other interested parties, all will have equal access to the questions being asked and the answers that are provided.
Yes. Parties that want to present should contact the coordinator for the specific workshop, all of whom are listed on the website, www.broadband.gov. All parties are welcome to submit written presentations on any of the topics related to the workshops.
Everyone will be allowed to file comments based on the discussion at the workshop. Everyone is invited to offer question over the web during the workshops. In addition, in some workshops, time will be put aside for public comment.
A variety of reasons including that some issues raise questions that are highly specific, highly technical or involve proprietary information.
There will be an additional comment period to allow further written comments on what is said during the workshops.
A hearing is more formal and generally involves the Commissioners.
Commissioners may choose to participate but the Commission staff will be the principal persons in charge of the workshops.
By asking clear but tough questions. Nothing is certain but we hope this kind of forum will lead to a better discussion of the issues.
We are inviting the public to participate by suggesting topics, questions, attending the workshops live or over the web, and by commenting after the workshops.
We hope so, but we are open to any techniques others suggest. Moreover, the Commission is reaching outside the usual contingent of communications lobbyists and lawyers for the formal participants who will be invited to speak during the workshops. Instead, staff is choosing technical experts, business strategists, economic experts and others as presenters who can provide the FCC with the best information possible without the taint of advocacy.
Yes. After these workshops, we anticipate that in the fall there will be field hearings outside of Washington D.C. on a range of issues raised by the discussions in the workshops.