The FCC has named healthcare and education as two of its top priorities in its upcoming National Broadband Plan, which is slated to be released March 17. The agency also named energy, the environment, government performance and public safety as other priorities in the plan.
The news could be a boon for the nascent telehealth industry. The FCC is calling for expanded reimbursement for e-care; increased pilot programs; revised credentialing requirements; and clarified regulations for converged communications and healthcare devices. Telehealth frequently uses smartphones and M2M technology in remote monitoring devices for patients.
The FCC’s Broadband Plan update also held good news for public safety officials. The agency recommended the creation of a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband public safety network that would support next-generation 911.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also called for more aggressive investment in smart grid technology. In a statement, Genachowski said “every home in America should be connected to the smart grid and have access to actionable energy data.” Smart grid technology also has been a priority of President Barack Obama.
The Broadband Plan update included various recommendations for boosting civic engagement in government and strengthening homeland security. Missing from the update were expected reforms for the Universal Service Fund and proposals for increasing spectrum availability for wireless broadband.
Filed Under: Industry regulations