$24 million broadband expansion nearly done

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM.

“Traditionally, the end result to the residential consumer would be provided by independent ISPs that traditionally sell at the last mile,” Brook said. “It provides a scalable, and in many cases, less costly capacity.”

Brook said the intention is not to compete with current providers, but simply to increase capacity. 

“This was not a system that was put in place to replace existing services,” Brook said. “We’re not only willing, but we’re obligated to negotiate with existing providers.”

Once the project is completed, service will be sold at a lowest reasonable cost through a network operator, Brook said, which is in the final stages of negotiation.

Within the $4.7 trillion stimulus package, $7.2 billion was designated for broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas across the country.

To qualify for grants, companies must show they can provide broadband service to areas that meet any of the following: where 90 percent of households have no broadband access, 50 percent have inadequate broadband coverage at speeds of less than three megabytes per second, or areas where service is available, but less than 40 percent of the population subscribes.

“This was a system that was primarily developed to provide additional capacity and capacity needed to community anchor institutions,” Brook said. “It’s trying to equalize the country in terms of access to technology,” Brook said.



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