Earlier this week, as we continue to fight funding battles on the Hill and as President Obama continues to call for broadband deployment, the large cable association released a study critical of RUS and the recent Broadband Initiatives Program award process that the agency conducted as part of the Recovery Act efforts. The NCTA study focused on three areas that they claim had existing broadband infrastructure but were rebuilt using RUS funding, in spite of the fact that each of these awards had been carefully vetted by RUS and received strong support from their local communities and clearly met the definition of bringing new broadband access to these areas. The BIP program had numerous hoops for awardees to go thru and certainly was administered with very strict guidelines so it is hard to see where the arguments from NCTA are coming from. It’s easy for opponents of these programs to gloss over the fact that community-based telcos have committed to providing broadband in those remote and less populated areas – despite the exorbitant costs associated – while the cable companies focus on the more lucrative towns. Rural consumers suffer when providers stand on the sidelines and choose not to provide service in rural areas – and then criticize the very programs that make it possible for those consumers to be served.
Apr 14 2011
NTCA Supports RUS
Permanent link to this article: http://www.ntca.org/ceoblog/ntca-supports-rus/