The Computer & Communications Industry Association issuing the following statement in response to the House Appropriations Committee announcement that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill will contain $6 billion to expand broadband access to rural and underserved areas. The statement can be attributed to Ed Black, President & CEO of CCIA:
“CCIA supports this effort to bring high speed, affordable broadband to unserved areas and underserved communities.
Some of the economic stimulus will come from the building of truly high speed network connections. But the greatest economic stimulus will come from people using this infrastructure to create new applications and other new economic activity.
We believe the government can get the biggest bang for its buck if it makes sure the money isn’t used to just make it cheaper for the big incumbent companies to deploy what they have already planned for these areas. This expansion will be really successful if it allows local and regional new entrants who are willing to provide unserved and underserved communities with robust, open Internet access.
“It’s worth noting that what many communities still need is not just physical access to high speed broadband, but competitive, affordable access. So using the money to add a second broadband provider to a community isn’t wasteful if it stimulates competition that brings affordability for customers.
We are encouraged by Obama administration signals that they intend to do even more.”