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FCC warns 'sloppiness' could harm Internet funding
|22 июля 2009|
A senior advisor at the Federal Communications Commission on Monday warned businesses and communities weighing in on the agency's national high-speed Internet plan to avoid "intellectual sloppiness" and "get-mine-first" statements in their proposals.
Blair Levin, a well known telecom analyst who is helping the FCC draft a national broadband plan, said additional government funds for Internet buildout would only come if people in the industry offer ideas that are proven to work.
"I don't know what the funds are going to be at the end of this," Levin said at a conference sponsored by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council."If we're going to ask Congress for more money,...we're going to have to demonstrate that a particular spending of that money has a public policy return on investment."
The government has already committed $7.2 billion in economic stimulus grants and loans to help companies and communities build Internet connections in unserved and underserved areas. There could be billions more for companies investing in health information technology or energy smart grid projects.
But analysts agree that $7 billion isn't nearly enough to blanket the country with Internet access, a top priority for President Barack Obama.
There also is a collective grumbling among industry insiders that the initial government funding notice for the Internet grants is unclear, and some requirements for grant applicants may be impossible to meet.
Levin acknowledged the "extreme skepticism" about the Internet funding in the stimulus bill. But he said the comments filed to the FCC on a national broadband plan haven't helped answer the hard questions.
"There's very little data," he said. Proposals offered by telecom companies and nonprofit organizations aren't "analyzing what the trade-offs are" to various ideas for encouraging more Internet buildout or boosting subscribership.
For example, Levin said there is almost universal agreement that more efficient use of valuable airwaves would spur more Internet competition and broadband use."Everyone just says,'Get it from somebody else,' but there's very little that's said about how to make it so," he said.
Earlier this month, Levin announced a series of August open meetings that will be conducted at the FCC about various aspects of the broadband plan. The FCC's plan must be submitted to Congress by February of 2010.
Источник: Total Telecom