Thursday, April 02, 2009

New mindset emerging on U.S. broadband build out

There's a new mindset on broadband infrastructure build out emerging in the United States, moving away from self interest and the proprietary profit centers of the telco/cable duopoly to broadband as a community resource.

So reports in this dispatch on the Freedom to Connect conference held April 1 in Silver Spring, Maryland discussing the $7.2 billion in broadband build out subsidies allocated in the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Some key excerpts:

"We are turning away from what I believe was a misguided effort to restructure the economy along the lines of selfishness: I've got mine and if you don't have yours, that's too bad for you because it's how the market works," said Harold Feld, legal director of consumer lobby Public Knowledge.

The act assumes that broadband provides benefits to a whole community, creating a new ecology. "For years, the debate has been about incenting the market and getting carriers to invest," Feld said. "Entities that were despised in yesteryear -- and I mean literally last year -- such as state and local entities and non-profits are now presumed to be most in tune with the philosophy of a broadband ecology."

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