Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Telecom infrastructure is interstate; crash federal modernization program needed

Senator Wants Transparency in Federal Broadband Grants: King sent the letter after his office was contacted by several rural Maine residents who want to know if their neighborhoods will receive broadband service or if their existing service will be upgraded as a result of the subsidies. He didn’t have an answer for them.

“High-speed broadband is a gateway to opportunity in the 21st century, but today, too many people in rural Maine lack adequate access – and that’s not fair to them or to our state’s economic future,” King said Monday. “The FCC’s Connect America Fund can help change this, but to be successful, every dollar must be spent efficiently, effectively and in a transparent way.”

As long as the United States limits its thinking to discrete neighborhoods and "rural and community broadband," modernizing and building out its telecommunications infrastructure will prove to be a frustratingly slow and inscrutable process as Senator King's constituents are experiencing.

Telecommunications is interstate and so is the infrastructure that delivers it. Instead of tinkering at the edges, the nation should instead engage in its signature big thinking and undertake a bold crash program to ensure every American home, small business and vital institution has a fiber optic connection to the Internet. Senator King's constituents and those of every other American representative have waited long enough.

1 comment:

drydiggins said...

I recall attending a meeting in Sacramento with fellow public safety radio types back in late 2004.
Public Safety Radio Interoperability was the cause célèbre at the moment.
Then State Assemblyperson Roger Niello spoke at the meeting.
When asked about radio interoperability, he said something like, Well, it's complicated and expensive. In other words, we were patted on our heads and sent on our way.

Following the link to the Angus King article, I also see this link in the sidebar:
"Feds Give AT&T $428M for Rural Broadband Expansion"

And there it is. A program reminiscent of pre-divestiture funding... more ADSL.

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