NCTA, Eagle Express Concerns Over Broadband Grants

Author: John Eggerton
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20230, United States

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and member company Eagle Communications are concerned that the government broadband stimulus program is underwriting overbuilders rather than targeting truly unserved areas, and have asked the government to review one of its multimillion-dollar broadband grants.

It is the first time NCTA has called for a review of one of the grants in the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program, though individual companies have raised concerns. In a letter to the heads of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service, NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow registered concern about a $101 million broadband grant in Kansas. Enclosing a copy of a letter from Eagle President Gary Shorman, McSlarrow said there were indications that the stimulus awards "are not being made with full awareness of marketplace realities."

Here's how NTIA describes the project --

Kansas: Level 3 EON, LLC: $998,000 broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $333,000 applicant-provided match to build four new access points on Level 3's existing broadband network. These additional points of interconnection will offer broadband speeds between 50 Mbps and 10 Gbps on an open and nondiscriminatory basis to local Internet service providers, enabling them to provide enhanced broadband capabilities to as many as 50,000 households, 3,600 businesses, and 150 community anchor institutions, including schools, government agencies, and healthcare providers.



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