Friday, May 18, 2007

Arizona state broadband authority backed

According to this item in the East Valley Tribune, the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council has given its support to the creation of an Arizona Broadband Development Authority that would oversee the implementation of a statewide plan for high-speed Internet service. It would study ways to reduce the cost of extending broadband infrastructure including fiber-optic lines to rural areas and ensuring that local communities play a major role in the process.

The council also proposed a revolving fund under the control of the authority that would be used to help pay for rural broadband projects that could be funded by a 50 cent surcharge on the monthly bills of existing broadband customers, said Michael Keeling, chairman of the council. Implicit in this subsidization scheme is the recognition of broadband as vital as basic telephone, roads and utilities.

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