It seems the Big Guys may not want any "gummint" money, because it might force them to abandon plans to offer faster service to certain favored websites - the main battleground of the now protracted War for Web Neutrality.
New York-based Verizon, like Dallas-based AT&T, may forgo the grants if it doesn’t like the conditions.The likely upshot is billions of federal dollars will be available to bring service first to "unserved" areas via entrepreneurs and small rural telcos, versus farms being brought into the mainstream broadband fold. This suggests to me a two-tier broadband system, because after the stimulus money peters out, the revenue stream from small systems will not support upgrading or possibly even the expansion needed to handle sure-to-occur Internet use.
“We don’t have any plans to apply; we also have not made a decision not to apply,” Verizon Executive Vice President Thomas Tauke told reporters last month. “We’re certainly going to participate in those discussions to the extent that we can.”
The stimulus measure has a provision that makes NTIA a new battleground in the debate over so-called net neutrality. That’s the idea that broadband providers shouldn’t be permitted to favor some Web sites by delivering their content faster than similar content from other sites.
The law says recipients of NTIA grants must practice “nondiscrimination” in access to their networks and “at a minimum” must comply with broadband guidelines adopted by the FCC in 2005. Those principles, which aren’t formal FCC rules, say carriers should let subscribers have access to any legal Web content or service they choose as long as it doesn’t harm the network. [More]
My selfish hope is therefore for the Bigs to plant a tower close enough to me to allow me to stay abreast of the advances in wireless speed and bandwidth. Failing that, I hope satellite providers can use some stimulus money to speed up their systems.
Regardless, this action could mean a new lease on life for rural telcos, even as subscribers switch away from landlines.
Wireless-only households made up 14.7 percent of U.S. households in 2007, analysts say.
These wireless-only adults made up 13.6 percent of U.S. adults in 2007, but more recent surveys suggest national wireless-only households might number as many as 20 percent of U.S. households. Cord cutter penetration varies fairly significantly by state, though, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Household-level estimates ranged from a low of 5.1 percent in Vermont to a high of 26.2 percent in Oklahoma. Other states with a high prevalence of wireless-only households include Utah (25.5 percent), Nebraska (23.2 percent), Arkansas (22.6 percent), Idaho (22.1 percent), and Iowa (22.2 percent).
Other states with a low prevalence of wireless-only households include Connecticut (5.6 percent), Delaware (5.7 percent), South Dakota (6.4 percent), Rhode Island (7.9 percent), New Jersey (8.0 percent), and Hawaii (8.0 percent). Other states with a low prevalence of wireless-only adults include Vermont (4.6 percent), Connecticut (4.8 percent), Rhode Island (5.3 percent), Montana (5.4 percent), and New Jersey (6.1 percent).
Similarly, there is great variation in the prevalence of wireless-only adults across states, ranging from a low of 4.0 percent in Delaware to a high of 25.1 percent in Oklahoma. High rates of wireless substitution also are reported by adults living in the District of Columbia (25.4 percent). Other states with a high prevalence of wireless-only adults include Utah (23.9 percent), Nebraska (22.4 percent), Kentucky (21.6 percent), Idaho (21.3 percent), and Arkansas (21.2 percent). [More]
What about you? Ready to go cell-only yet?