Telecom Experts Offer Last-Minute Advice to Broadband Stimulus Applicants


Casey Lide, an attorney with the Baller Herbst Law Group; Jeff Arnold, the Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Counties; and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners General Counsel Brad Ramsay offered their advice on the future of American Recovery and reinvestment Act broadband funding at a webinar hosted by Governing.com. Arnold said counties want broadband even if it's not the fastest broadband available. "When you have nothing, even 768 Kbps [kilobits per second] is good," he said, referring to the minimum requirement for how speedy the new broadband projects must be able to deliver. Ramsay said California and other states have been recommending that applicants file early this week because of concern over the ability of the Web site taking applications to handle them all. Lide sees the first round of funding as an attempt to create a "thin skinned layer of broadband in rural areas of the country" and expects future rounds may not focus as intently on getting broadband to the unserved and underserved parts of the country.

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