WASHINGTON, December 29, 2009 – Rick Rotondo, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Spectrum Bridge, advises technology policy enthusiasts to keep an eye on wireless broadband legislation from Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. For more on Rotondo’s thoughts on broadband issues in 2010, read the Q&A below:
Broadband Census News: What do you see happening to broadband stimulus government funding in 2010?
Rotondo: We'll see more grants soon. I expect them to follow the early trend in awards the NTIA and RUS have made. That is: local/county/state government coalitions seem to have an upper hand. Also, seeming to be contenders are private companies with very strong wide support from local and county governments. Also, fiber optic and wireless internet seems to be the favorite technologies early on - we'll see if this trend continues.
Broadband Census News: What do you expect will happen on the Net neutrality front?
Rotondo: More complaining for a while, then the FCC will come out with real rules (believe it or not there really aren't any real rules to complain about - but the guidelines and principles have incumbents all worked up already). In the end, the current FCC will probably come up with a set of reasonably pro-consumer rules that will not be that bad for the carriers. Still expect the teeth gnashing to continue.
Broadband Census News: What do you think will happen with government efforts to map broadband access? Will states be able to even meet their broadband mapping grant deadlines?
Rotondo: Some will some won't. Funding is not even in place for some. However others started this project early, like Virginia. There will be lots of challenges from incumbents as well has new entrants (or would-be-entrants) that will not agree with the findings. Most will get it done when they get it done - what I mean is that most states don't have a lot of experience with this sort of broadband mapping projects and they may not get it 100% right the first time, so the maps may (and should) be revisited as data and measurability improve as the states get better at it.
Broadband Census News: What broadband legislation might move or get filed in 2010?
Rotondo: Well, I would keep my eye on the spectrum inventory bill (S. 649, Senator Kerry) this may see the light of day sometime in 2010. Though this will not directly effect broadband rollout in 2010, it could impact wireless broadband sometime in the next 5 years or so (if it passes in the next year or so). It could make some fairly valuable spectrum currently held by government agencies available for use by wireless broadband providers. I suspect it will follow a similar policy as that used for TV white spaces spectrum access. That is, radios will have to contact a spectrum database over the internet to find available channels based on the radio's location, type of radio, power output, etc.