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Private Companies Should Be Allowed To Apply For Broadband Stimulus Funding
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 10:11:02 -0400

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From: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date: March 16, 2009 3:26:00 PM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Private Companies Should Be Allowed To Apply For Broadband Stimulus Funding

Private Companies Should Be Allowed To Apply For Broadband Stimulus Funding Cable, Satellite, Wireless Industries Believe Companies Shouldn't Have To Partner With Government To Be Eligible
Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 3/16/2009 10:55:22 AM MT
<http://www.multichannel.com/article/190039-Private_Companies_Should_Be_Allowed_To_Apply_For_Broadband_Stimulus_Funding.php > The cable, satellite, and wireless industries got together Monday to tell the National Telecommunications & Information Administration that it should allow private companies to apply for the $4.7 billion in broadband stimulus grant money without having to partner with governments or other eligible entities.

Others argued that private entities were the ones that had thus far left the communities at issue without broadband, or without broadband of sufficient speeds and reasonable prices, and therefore needed to work in tandem with the government if they wanted a shot at the money.

That debate came at the second of a series of public meetings on the grant/loan program, this one focusing on the eligibility of private entities, an issue of obvious importance to the cable broadband service providers and networks seeking some of that money.

The way the economic stimulus package law was written, governments, nonprofits and tribal organizations are all free to apply for the money, but private entities like service and network providers can only apply if the NTIA determines it is in the public interest.

The morning session at NTIA's Washington headquarters on private sector eligibility was part of the process of helping the agency decide how to make that call. Curt Stamp, president of the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance, spoke for an alliance of private-sector telecom companies, including National Cable & Telecommunications Association, in arguing that those industries have the track records and extensive expertise.

Stamp said that the groups he represented wanted NTIA to make eligible any entity that held an FCC license, a stated certification, cable franchise or similar government authority, saying they had clearly demonstrated the capacity to carry out the projects in compliance with applicable laws and in an expeditious and efficient manner. He said since they had already been found to be viable service providers, no other additional review was necessary. Stamp wasn't precluding making any others eligible, just that they might need a higher bar of vetting.

He recevied an assist from Debbie Goldman, telecommunications policy directoir for the Communications Workers of America, who said that past performance should be a strong consideration. She said that the proven track record should be an important criteria, suggesting that demonstrating the financial, technical and managerial chops to complete the project quickly and continue operating it after the stimulus money has been expended.

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