Washington, D.C., April 5 -- Six trade associations have formed the High Tech Broadband Coalition (HTBC) to advance new, last-mile broadband investment and deployment in the US. The group said it will file comments today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the agency’s triennial review of unbundling rules included in Section 251 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. HTBC will call for streamlined regulation to speed broadband deployment, urging the FCC to achieve a minimal regulatory environment for new, last-mile broadband facilities. Specifically, the HTBC suggests that the FCC refrain from imposing Section 251 unbundling obligations on new last mile broadband facilities, including fiber and DSL electronics deployed on the customer side of the central office. HTBC also suggests that the FCC continue to require incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to provide collocation space and unbundled access to the legacy copper facilities and establish ILEC build-out and minimal bandwidth requirements. Coalition members include the Business Software Alliance, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Semiconductor Industry Association and the Telecommunications Industry Association. "Removing outdated regulations will encourage investments in last-mile broadband facilities, thus providing affordable access to consumers," said George Scalise, Semiconductor Industry Association president. "This also will allow consumers to reap the full benefits of faster and better semiconductor chips that drive their computers and peripherals."