Saturday, June 09, 2007

On Boucher's broadband plan

This article describes Congressman Boucher's plan to address U.S. broadband problems.

It says in part:

"Despite having the largest number of residential broadband users in the world, many rural and poorer areas of the country don't have access to broadband.

The first law change that would help improve this, Boucher said, would be to reform the Universal Service Fund to promote the expansion of broadband service.

According to a bill backed by Boucher and Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., recipients of subsidies from the fund would have to agree to offer broadband service to their entire geographic service area within five years.

Currently the rules governing the fund, established to subsidize the rollout of telephone service across the country, don't permit companies to use it to expand broadband service.

. . .

Boucher said the next step would be to allow local governments to offer commercial broadband service, similar to when electricity service was first made widely available.

. . .

He also said he would be pushing federal lawmakers to adopt a similar program to one in Kentucky where through a combination of public and private funding a statewide broadband Internet network was constructed.

. . .

The fourth step necessary, said Boucher, would be to push broadband over power-line service. The technology exists to permit this, but so far no company has offered the service.

. . .

Finally, Boucher urged the audience of mainly telecommunications industry representatives to resolve the issue of network neutrality so it doesn't derail any more telecommunications legislation."

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