Friday, May 01, 2009

Feds should prioritize broadband stimulus funding for local telecom cooperatives

Google's got a spot on solution to remedy the existing flawed and incomplete U.S. telecommunications infrastructure model that cannot deliver advanced communication services over much of the so-called "last mile." Decades ago, local property owners built their own telecom cooperatives when basic phone service -- like high speed Internet today -- wasn't available to them, notes Google policy analyst Derek Slater in this April 30 Gizmodo video. They can now adopt the same concept to bring fiber to their neighborhoods, he says. Slater's presentation follows on a white paper he co-authored Homes with Tails What If You Could Own Your Internet Connection that was issued last November.

The federal agencies responsible for disbursing $7.2 in economic stimulus funding to build advanced telecommunications infrastructure should give telecom cooperatives and other local entities funding priority to help make this a reality. America's telecom future isn't with the failed top down strategies of the past. The way to go is bottom up empowerment of communities that have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide for years. Policymakers should also adopt Google's call for state and federal tax income tax credits to provide incentive for homeowners to invest in their own fiber connections.

1 comment:

TWS said...

And what bothers me the most after more research, is the distribution seems like it will still be handled by the USDA whose continued focus on telemedicine and distance as their primary method for monetary distribution has to many strings tied to it and remains archaic.

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