Broadband growth begins with the schools

schoolThanks for Ann Higgins for sending me an article on the universities’ plan for fixing broadband situation in the US and the stimulus plan.

Right now the stimulus funding requires grants to go out this summer for projects that stimulate broadband deployment, (the economy and jobs). There’s also a mandate to have the FCC work on a national broadband plan – but that won’t be done for a while. So that’s a little like sending my husband to the grocery store before I have a menu for diner, which I have done with varying degrees of success.

Here’s the recommendation in a nutshell:

A National Broadband Strategy should begin with America’s colleges and universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, public libraries, hospitals, clinics, and the state, regional and national research and education networks that connect them and extend to reach government agencies, agricultural extension sites, and community centers across the nation.

Their reasons are compelling. I think that academia has brought good things to technology in the past – and vice versa. I just wish that someone else had made the plea – it seems less authentic somehow coming from academia itself.

This entry was posted in education, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

3 thoughts on “Broadband growth begins with the schools

  1. Actually, the FCC will complete its Rural Broadband Policy before any stimulus money or rulemaking issued. The FCC must report to Congress regarding its rural broadband policy by May 22, 2009. This requirement was included in last year’s agriculture bill-not the ARRA. Since RUS money by law has to go to rural areas and the NTIA has to go to unserved and underserved areas-the Rural Broadband Policy will probably cover the vast majority of dollars spent under the stimulus plan. Just to extend the analogy this is like sending your husband to the grocery store with a shopping list thats complete for the first six days of the week, but not including the seventh day.

  2. Here are the key upcoming dates. Rulemaking by the RUS and NTIA will likely be the week of June 20th.

    RUS & NTIA

    July 2 – Oversight hearing in with Congress
    Must report to Congress 5/17/2009 and quarterly thereafter
    August (expected) – Close of tranche 1 application window
    September /October– Issue awards

    Complete National Broadband Plan with FCC (2/17/2010), Broadband Map (2/17/2011)


    May 22-Rural Broadband Policy Report due to Congress

    June 8-National Broadband Policy public comment period closes

    July 7-National Broadband Policy reply comments due

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