May 21, 2008 By News Report
The Federal Communications Commission should get more involved in environmental issues, particularly as the digital TV transition causes an "enormous influx" of potentially dangerous old analog TVs into landfills, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said in an exclusive interview with the new Green Electronics Daily.
Adelstein called for an interagency digital television task force on environmental issues including the FCC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Commerce, and state and local governments. He said his call for the task force has gone unheeded, and currently "there is not a structure for us to work in a cooperative fashion across different agencies, except for ad hoc meetings."
The FCC's main role in dealing with discarded TVs is informational, focusing on educating consumers on environmentally friendly alternatives for disposing of them, Adelstein said.
But the FCC might play a bigger role in environmental matters by promoting telecommuting and teleconferencing, since they reduce travel, Adelstein said. He said the best approach is promoting high-speed Internet access. "I think the biggest issue before the FCC is the need for national broadband policy," Adelstein said. Other countries are "leapfrogging" the U.S. in terms of bandwidth, he said.
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