Two items to report. First up is an op-ed from IIA Co-Chairmen Bruce Mehlman and Larry Irving on Roll Call. It’s titled “Making Broadband Dollars Count: Maximizing Our Return on the Feds’ High-Speed Internet Investments,” and here’s a taste:
An effective national broadband strategy will enable the government to partner with the private sector to extend broadband service to every corner of the country, while at the same time raising awareness of its benefits. A national broadband strategy should also evolve as technologies improve and as we learn more from broadband mapping and from the return on initial stimulus investments. The best strategy will start by examining where we stand today and then identify policies to get us where we want to be.
Elsewhere, Bruce Mehlman was interviewed by the Las Cruces Sun-News about the federal broadband stimulus:
“The stimulus money will be doled out in the form of competitive grants and loans. The overseeing agencies are expected to release application guidelines by the end of June.
“I think you’ll see applications by private competitors, by public interest nonprofits, and by government agencies at the state and local level,” said Bruce Mehlman, co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance.
The alliance, an organization that advocates the expansion of broadband connections, believes the majority of the money should go toward unserved areas rather than underserved.
“It’s more of a triage than a like of one and dislike of the other. If you have limited stimulus dollars, someone with no connection at all has a clear problem, and an understandable solution,” Mehlman said.
Fixing issues in unserved regions is simpler than defining and troubleshooting problems in underserved regions, the alliance asserts.
“What’s underserved is subject to a debate that hasn’t yet happened,” Mehlman said.
Again, read the whole thing.