Thanks to Ann Higgins for sending me an article about how legislators are asking the RUS to consider urban need for broadband as well as rural. I’m all for ubiquitous broadband but I have to say that I think the RUS (Rural Utility Service) money is best spent in rural areas. I would feel differently if the RUS was responsible for all of the broadband stimulus money but they aren’t.
The RUS (Rural Utility Service) has $2.5 billion to distribute and they are mandating to spend at least 75 percent in rural areas. Much of which will go to broadband loans and loan guarantees to build infrastructure. (Apparently the RUS said that they thought that all of the money would go to rural areas and that’s what spurred the letter to legislators.)
The NTIA has $4.7 billion to go for grants for programs that will include community technology centers, mapping, building broadband demand.
It seems to me as if urban areas are better served by the kind of funding provided by the NTIA. That the biggest issue in urban areas is training, affordability, access to computers and not lack of physical access to broadband.