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NPR CEO Praises Proposed National Broadband Plan

'Ambitious and much-needed'

Certain specifics of the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed 10-year, $20 billion plan to increase broadband access are being met with wariness by some broadcasters. But NPR’s president/CEO describes the plan as “ambitious and much-needed.”

In a statement, Vivian Schiller said the plan, sent to Congress this week, recognizes the central role of public media to the American public, and she sought to position public radio as already thinking along these lines.

“To ensure that the American public continues to have free and universal access to public media content, high-speed and affordable broadband access is simply a given. Public radio is off and running in pursuit of the ‘robust digital media ecosystem’ the commission references.”

She referenced two NPR initiatives related to broadband, the launch in October of an online journalism project to develop in-depth, local coverage, and the start of an effort in 2008 to make NPR’s news and information easier to access online.

Schiller said NPR and its member stations are ready to work with the commission and Congress on the broadband proposals.