House Wants $6 Billion For Broadband Initiative

Focus on rural areas

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The House Appropriations Committee wants to put $6 billion towards expanding broadband to rural areas of America.

"For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment," the committee said in a report. The plan is part of an $825 billion stimulus package to be voted on by Congress.

Broadband advocates support the proposal but want measures in place to ensure transparency and accountability.

House Wants $6 Billion For Broadband Initiative
Ben Scott
Policy Director
Free Press

"While $6 billion is not as much as we had hoped for, it is a substantial investment that represents an important public commitment to broadband," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press. "This money must be tied to a single agency that can uphold clear principles of public service and enforce concrete administrative accountability."

Free Press sent letters to David Obey (D-Wisc.) and Daniel Inouye (D-Ill.), chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, asking that companies receiving the funds remain network neutral.

"First, tax dollars should not be used to fund closed, proprietary networks that shut out content providers, control consumer behavior, and encourage anticompetitive activity," the group wrote.

"We must be clear that it is the open market of unfettered innovation, collaborative production, and consumer curiosity that has driven the success of network technologies to date."

House Wants $6 Billion For Broadband Initiative
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  • http://broadbandcensus.com Drew Clark

    At BroadbandCensus.com, our piece, “House Appropriations Committee Seeks $6 Billion for Broadband, Would Impose Speed Requirements Upon Most Grant Recipients,” breaks down how the House Appropriations Committee would be allocation the $6 billion, at http://broadbandcensus.com/blog/?p=1250

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