At MIO, we’re well aware that broadband isn’t being used to its full potential because not enough of the right people know what it is or what it can do for them. And since they don’t know what they’re missing, they’re not asking policymakers or the companies that provide broadband to make it more accessible. This is, in essence, the underlying problem that will perpetuate the digital divide.
Our nation’s goal is to decrease that divide: to help key decision-makers understand what broadband is and why they need it; encourage companies and policymakers to make it widely available; and help communities make the most of the opportunities it offers for economic development, increased quality and reach of services, and jobs.
The National Broadband Plan won’t do jack until more folks in Wunderland acknowledge and aggressively address one stark truth – broadband competition is mostly a myth, expensively maintained through lobbyists, think tanks and easily-influenced politicians. Until we get meaningful competition, a significant part – though mercifully not all – of Wunderland’s policies will result in dabbling around the edges rather than a meaningful advancement of broadband in the U.S.
Case in point: the misguided attempt by some of Wisconsin’s state legislators to prevent their state universities from using federal stimulus money to advance broadband is purely about AT&T clawing to maintain its near monopolistic hold over broadband there. In this and other states’ legislatures we see cable and telco duopolies roadblocking federal and local efforts to get communities the broadband they want and need.
WASHINGTON, February 7, 2011 – Blair Levin, head of the team that authored the National Broadband Plan and Craig Settles, a leading industry analyst, debated at the New America Foundation on Monday the best way to deploy broadband to unserved and underserved areas.
WASHINGTON, October 22, 2010 – Now that all of the broadband stimulus funding has been distributed, its effectiveness can now be evaluated. That was the message at the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, October 19. Video of the event was released on Friday. While the long term value of the stimulus is still unknown, panelists were able to gauge the way in which the funds were distributed.
When Washington thinks about the “broadband stimulus,” what should it remember? The federal government spent nearly $7 billion on new, broadband-related activities, that in many respects were completely unlike traditional federal telecommunications spending on telephone service.
Tomorrow’s Broadband Breakfast Club, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 19, at Clyde’s of Gallery Place in Washington, will be one of the first post-stimulus forums to convene the major players and consider these “big-picture” questions. Registration for the event is available at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com, and (for those outside of Washington) a free video of the event will be made available here later in the week.
WASHINGTON, October 14, 2010 – The internet and intellectual property news service BroadbandBreakfast.com announces the second event in its Fall 2010 – 2011 Broadband Breakfast Club series, “Evaluating the Broadband Stimulus.”
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2010 – Community broadband providers face unique challenges, said a group of experts Thursday at an event hosted by the New America Foundation. Broadband is a local issue and members of the communications community shouldn’t lose sight of that, said author Craig Settles, who is also president of Successful.com and co-director of Communities United for Broadband, in a speech just prior to the panel discussion.
WASHINGTON, December 28, 2009 – Broadband Census News Reporter Winter Casey touched base with broadband business strategist Craig Settles this week on what to expect might happen on key technology issues in 2010. Settles addresses government broadband stimulus grants, legislation, and mapping in the interview.
With those words, Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling, head of NTIA, enables many applicants and others worried about the NOFA’s incumbent challenge clause breathe a little easier. And for those of us who’ve railed against this potentially destructive clause , there is also a bit of satisfaction for not giving up the fight.
Craig Settles of Successful.com offers his observations about the NTIA’s broadband stimulus applications: “From what I’ve seen and read about so far, these applications fit into three loosely defined categories: The dreamers, the hopefuls and the planners.”