I don’t know much about this – but the Connecting America Act of 2009 caught my eye. It was introduced by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a Republican from Texas. Here’s a description of the Act taken from the Republican Press Office Press release:
The Connecting Act of 2009 is designed to stimulate investment and economic development activity over the next five years. The legislation creates limited duration tax credits that will encourage companies to make investments that they might otherwise delay due to the economic downturn. Under the bill, targeted incentives will provide companies immediate access to capital and encourage broadband investment to maintain and improve infrastructure where we need it most.
The bill would also create a technology-neutral bond program that will allow communities, rather than federal bureaucrats, to raise funds for construction, assess their own infrastructure needs, and adopt the broadband technologies that are most appropriate. The legislation would also reform and streamline the numerous federal programs supporting broadband to focus broadband deployment funding in a coordinated manner.
The press release also indicates that this is meant to be a response or maybe to capitalize on the FCC Broadband Strategy due after much of the ARRA stimulus funding with have been distributed.
I also noted that with this Act qualifying broadband projects would have to meet minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps for upgrades of existing infrastructure or 10 Mbps for new projects in unserved territory.
Will this bill pass? Time will tell but I’m glad to see it continues to be an asset worth pursuing both by both parties.