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Hey FCC: What about "audio.gov?"

I’ve now had my eyes glued to the Federal Communications Commission’s 370+ page National Broadband Plan for 24 hours, and the message is clear: video rules; audio drools. The document goes so far as to propose the creation of video.gov:

“a federated national archive for digital content. Creating such an archive will require tackling digital rights challenges and coordinating among multiple stakeholders. As part of this federated archive, the Executive Branch should create Video.gov, which would be modeled after Data.gov. This platform would house the federal government’s public digital video content, current and historical, and would make it accessible and available to the public. All agencies should be encouraged to release as much video content as possible onto Video.gov.”

Man, does the FCC’s NBP like video, as in video conferencing, IP video, social networking video, the video set-top box market, first responder video data,user-generated videos, high definition video, embedded video, Skype video calls, youtube video, video video video!

To be fair, it makes sense. The NBP is all fixated on how to encourage broadband adoption, and it thinks that the easier it is to watch television on the Internet, the more Americans will migrate there and buy high speed service (or want to; another huge chunk of the plan is about how to make it easier for the millions who don’t have broadband to get it).

It’s sad though the way the plan completely ignores audio/radio use on and off the Internet. I mean, broadcast radio is mentioned in the Grand Prologue to the document. Insert First Pomp and Circumstance March here: “In the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, telephony, radio and television transformed America, unleashing new opportunities for American innovators to create products and industries, new ways for citizens to engage their elected officials and a new foundation for job growth and international competitiveness.”

You get the idea  . . . That Was Then . . . but apparently radio now doesn’t have any role in Internet adoption, at least not to the FCC,  so no need to talk about it in The Plan.  Still, there’s a lot of government audio out there. You can find some  of it on data.gov, and the rest is floating about on various  government sites (hello FBI “gotcha” radio!). I guess we’ll just have to wait until there’s an FCC that notices that people listen as well as look on the ‘Net before it suggests the creation of audio.gov.


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