Lawmaker: Broadband Funds Exclude Appalachia -- Broadband Funding -- InformationWeek
Lawmaker: Broadband Funds Exclude Appalachia
Communities isolated by mountains, but geographically near populated areas don't qualify for federal stimulus funding.By W. David Gardner
September 11, 2009 02:42 PM
Rural areas are slated to receive a lopsided amount of federal stimulus grants for broadband, but mountainous regions -- likewise short on broadband access -- are in danger of having grants withheld, according to a congressman conducting hearings on the issue this week.
Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, noted that in mountainous areas of his West Virginia home state, grant funding can be withheld because communities are near cities, even though they are cut off from easy broadband access by mountains. Boucher is conducting a hearing Friday on oversight of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act involving broadband access.
"For communities with small populations that are isolated by mountains, the cost of building broadband can be great," Boucher said in a statement prepared for Friday's hearing, "And with populations as few as 100 homes, that cost can't be recovered through the revenues to be realized from the broadband service."
Providing access to the Internet is a license to take money out of your pocket and put it in the ISP's pocket. Why have we never heard of the real cost of providing Internet service compared to the income? Hmmm?!?! The FCC should use the same "regulations" on ISP's that were imposed on the Telephone company to provide rural service.