stories filed under: "stimulus"
Tue, Mar 17th 2009 6:34pm
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.
Wed, Jan 28th 2009 9:33am
from the hey,-your-policy-goal-chocolate-is-in-my-government-handout-peanut-butter dept
As debate over the massive economic stimulus bill continues, the trade group representing US mobile operators has weighed in, with its head, former-NFL-star-turned-congressman-turned-shill Steve Largent, saying that unless open-access rules are removed from the broadband section of the bill, carriers will be "hesitant to participate". News to Steve: the stimulus bill, and this section, aren't necessarily intended merely to further line the pockets of incumbent mobile operators. While he thinks open-access rules "will deter providers from taking advantage of the grant program," one would have to imagine that if incumbents sat on the sidelines, plenty of new entrants would be more than willing to open their businesses to the government support and use it to craft new mobile broadband networks that would provide some much-needed competition in the space. Furthermore, such open access requirements didn't stop Verizon from shelling out several billion dollars for spectrum licenses last year. It seems that the CTIA loves it some stimulus -- as long as it doesn't stimulate any potential competition for its members.