Tauke focused on just one area -- the plan's recommendation that the FCC seek "balance" in allowing incumbent broadband providers to retire cooper networks after laying fiber. Incumbent telecom carriers are required to share parts of their copper networks with competitors.
"Competitive carriers are currently using copper to provide [small businesses] with a competitive alternative for broadband services," the plan says. "Retirement of these copper facilities affects both existing broadband services and the ability of competitors to offer new services."
But incumbent carriers need to be able to retire the copper networks, Tauke argued. Creating new rules slowing the retirement of copper networks "certainly is a hindrance to investment," Tauke said. "One of the key elements to any business plan for putting in fiber to replace copper is that we can pull out the copper network so that we don't have to maintain two networks."
Earlier during Tuesdays' forum, Blair Levin, executive director of the FCC's Omnibus Broadband Initiative, defended the plan, saying it strikes the right balance between vision and pragmatic goals. While the FCC recognizes that private investment will largely build broadband networks, some government programs to encourage broadband deployment and adoption weren't working as well as they could, he said.
"We wanted to aspire high, but find a practical road," Levin said. "A bold document with no chance of being implemented would not help improve the state of broadband in America."
The plan, while not perfect, "got the outline right," added Peter Pitsch, associate general counsel and executive director of communications policy for Intel. The big challenge for the FCC will be execution of the plan, he said.
"The [FCC] chairman's office should say, 'Here are five things worth getting done in the next year, and if we get three done, we've succeeded,'" he said.