We've had a lot of concerns about the broadband stimulus package, since it was shaping up to look like little more than a handout
to incumbent operators who have a long history of grabbing public money, then not living up
to the promises they made to get it. The real problem underlying most issues having to do with broadband in the US is a lack of competition
, so any stimulus needs to address that, instead of just throwing money blindly at broadband providers. Mobile operators have already complained
about anything that might force them to compete interfering with the government broadband giveaway; now BusinessWeek reports that several incumbent telcos are holding back
from the stimulus, because they're afraid the government will attach strings to it to try and increase competition. Most of all, they're worried they may have to allow line-sharing, which, of course, they worked very hard to get tossed out
in 2005. The rules are still under discussion, but we're optimistic that the opportunity to effect some positive change on the broadband market won't get left behind in the rush to throw money at it.