There has been a deep discussion that started on Tom Keating's blog about the Broadband Bail-out plan (known in various circles as a Bell hand-out, Stimulus package, Information Highway Infrastructure Development Funding).
Attorney Jim Baller has more on the House Stimulus Bill:
- $2.825B for USDA RUS, mostly for rural open access broadband grants, 50% to be awarded no later than Sept. 30, 2009;
- $2.825B to NTIA, including $1B for Wireless Deployment Grants and $1.825B for Broadband Deployment Grants for the deployment of basic broadband service or advanced broadband service;
- $350M to fund state broadband tracking initiatives; NTIA to develop and maintain broadband inventory map of U.S.;
- $1.85B for wireline to be split 75% for advanced broadband in underserved areas and 25% for basic broadband in unserved areas
- $1B for wireless to be split 75% for advanced broadband in underserved areas and 25% for basic wireless in unserved areas
- "Advanced broadband service"=45Mbps/15Mbps; "advanced wireless broadband service" = 3Mbps/1Mbps;
- "basic broadband service" = 5Mbps/1Mbps
- FCC to define "unserved" and "underserved"
- Recipients must provide "open access" (except for providers of basic wireless broadband);
- bill also lists numerous preferences (text of bill)(House Report)
Coverage and reactions:
- Wall Street Journal: "So much for the broad- band tax breaks"
- Declan McCullough: "Democrats sneak net neutrality rules into 'stimulus' bill"
- Telephony Online
- Broadband Reports
- Ars Technica
NATIONAL BROADBAND STRATEGY "President-elect Barack Obama may want broadband for all, but it's not going to happen just with the $800 billion economic stimulus plan being debated in Congress right now...the economic stimulus package is meant to address very short-term goals, and should not be read as including provisions for addressing the long-term goal of universal broadband." [exchange mag]
BTW, a Draft UK government plan "will guarantee broadband coverage with minimum download speeds of 2 MB per second to every household that wants it." [Inquirer]