Thursday, March 5, 2009

ITIF Report: Expand Broadband to the rural market

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation - a non-partisan research and educational institute - has identified how they believe $7.2 billion in government subsidies should be allocated. The recently enacted "recovery bill" allots that amount "in support of broadband" initiatives, and ITIF has stated that those funds should be used to deploy moderate-speed broadband to locations in "unserved" areas in the US. Most of these unserved areas are in rural, sparsely populated parts of the country where it is currently cost-prohibitive to deliver high-speed internet access. For customers located there, the only option is dial-up.

In the same report, ITIF suggests that non-wire-based technologies will probably be the best way to deliver these services.

In particular, 4G wireless can be a good alternative to fixed wireline in rural areas where subscriber density is low and fixed outdoor antennas are used to maximize radio signals.
Companies, like Sprint for instance, that have already begun deploying this type of advanced wireless technology will be in a good position to take advantage of this legislative action. Of course, there's no guarantee that regulators will take the advice of ITIF in this regard. But the law has been passed, for better or for worse. And if the money is going to be spent, to me this seems like a fairly reasonable approach.

Read the ITIF Report: The Need for Speed: The Importance of Next-Generation Broadband Networks

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