Biden Broadband Negotiations, INCOMPAS New Campaign, Affordability Over Speed For EarthLink

Biden in meetings on broadband infrastructure, new INCOMPAS campaign, EarthLink focusing on price over speed.

Biden Broadband Negotiations, INCOMPAS New Campaign, Affordability Over Speed For EarthLink
West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito

June 2, 2021—President Joe Biden will meet Wednesday with West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who is leading the Republican negotiations on the president’s broadband ambitions in his infrastructure plan.

Biden unveiled in March his $2.3-trillion “American Jobs Plan,” which included $100 billion in broadband spending. Republicans, however, have said this is an excessive amount.

After Republicans put forward their own $928-billion broadband infrastructure proposal, which pegged needed broadband infrastructure spending at $65 billion, Biden said last week he would be willing to agree to that amount.

Telecompetitor reports the Republicans and several broadband industry are unhappy with the White House’s proposal in part because of its focus on funding for municipally-owned networks.

INCOMPAS launches new broadband campaign

INCOMPAS, a trade association for competitive networks, announced last week the launch of a campaign known as BroadLand to help “make internet for all a reality for millions of American families and small businesses.”

This new campaign is advocating at the local state and federal agency level for better and faster broadband infrastructure.

INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering is teaming up with former Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for the effort. “I am excited to join the BroadLand effort and continue my fight for greater broadband access and competition that has proven to lift all boats,” Clyburn said. “Better broadband means faster speeds, lower prices, and more ideas and innovation from more people and places.”

Glenn Goad, CEO of EarthLink, said the company is focusing on affordability over speed, according to a report by Fierce Telecom.

That means the company isn’t rushing to gigabit connections. “We want to deliver the right technology at the right price,” Goad said. “The right technology really is the right speed, competitors are focused on advertising the fastest speed they have, but not everybody needs one gig.”

EarthLink was founded in 1994 as a dial-up provider but has pivoted to becoming a wholesale provider of fiber internet. Currently, Goad reports the company has a partnership with four major telecom providers to provide service to 63 percent of households and 75 percent of small businesses.

“We believe that fixed wireless, both 4G and 5G, are really good solutions for certain geographies in the country today, and that probably gets better over time. And we believe that satellite will become a viable product for consumers as well.”

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