Better Broadband Better Lives

NTIA Commenters Stress Previous Experience and Multiple Goals

in NTIA/NTIA Comments/Recovery Act by

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2009 - Comments posted to NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunity Program website on Tuesday, April 7 continued to show the diversity of commenters and urged that experience and the ability to meet multiple goals should count when weighing applications.

Rodney Gilcrist, Technology Director of Tunica, Miss., said he wanted to use stimulus funds to roll out existing fiber to local residents that currently do not have broadband. Excess capacity was rolled out to Tunica’s municipal buildings, and this fiber backbone could be put to use with residential connections.

The Vermont Center for Geographic Information outlined what they believe to be the best criteria for the nationwide broadband map. The map should include DSL, fiber, cable, WISP, and wireless voice and data coverage. Those available should be mapped down to street level. Vermont also states that there is little reason for carriers to claim that releasing the information would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

The Extension Foundation stressed the importance of outreach using education tools to enhance the money spent on broadband connections. Helping rural businesses and entrepreneurs is an important part of connecting rural communities. Extension states that criteria for selection should include a proven track record, proof of sustainability once stimulus funds disappear, and cooperation with existing education centers should be considered.

The National EBS Association wrote to champion the 2.5 GHz educational band of wireless frequencies, and point NTIA to the advantages this band could have in un and underserved areas. Also, the speeds of wireless networks and wireline networks should conform to different benchmarks. Current WiMax speeds of 3.0 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 768 Mbps upload should be the wireless standard. Multiple goals should be addressed by applicants, and EBS holders should be eligible for funds.

The Public Interest Spectrum Coalition pointed out several criteria they believe NTIA should follow. PISC said that the role of the states should be limited, and a $25 million “small entities” fund should be created. In addition, participants should operate open, interconnected, and nondiscriminatory networks. NTIA or the FCC should consider pre-empting state laws that would serve as boundaries to potential participants.

Broadband Breakfast Club

Don’t miss the opportunity to register for the April 14, 2009, Broadband Breakfast Club at the Old Ebbitt Grill. The theme of the April meeting will be, “Spending the Stimulus: Can States’ Front-line Experiences Expedite Broadband Deployment?” Register at

Confirmed speakers include Karen Jackson, Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance, Commonwealth of Virginia; Betty Ann Kane, Chairman, D.C. Public Service Commission; and Sue A. Suleski, Technology Investment Specialist and Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Broadband Initiative.

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