Thursday, February 12, 2009

Further legislation for a US Broadband map

After reading through and hearing some reports that the stimulus plan was including a broadband provision I was, of course, curious to see what that provision contained. Unfortunately the reports that I had heard were only saying that the broadband provision was to spread broadband service to unserved areas of America (not very helpful reports). Which I completely support. However how are 'they' to know who is unserved? Several states have taken upon themselves to conduct a broadband service map. Yet the federal government had not until late last year decided a map was important (see P.L. 110-385 Broadband Data Improvement Act).

In the latest version of the stimulus package available to me, February 10, 2009, there is a provision that again calls for the creation of a US Broadband Map (Title II-Section 201(l)(9 and 10)). This is in conjunction with the Broadband Data Improvement Act passed last year (P.L. 110-385). Granted P.L. 110-385 has not had enough time to full implements. I am rather happy that there is a definite timetable within the stimulus package for release of a broadband map of the United States. Except the time tables do not really match up for funding broadband expansion and release of the map. The stimulus plans says that all funds for the Broadband Technology Opportunities provision are to be dispensed by 2010. However the map has to be release no later than 2 years after the passage of the stimulus plan.

Maybe we are putting the cart before the horse on this one. Perhaps it would be better, or would have been better if the language is not changed, to complete the map first.

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