Could Trump bring in a ARRA-like opportunity to broadband?

Remember the ARRA stimulus projects? Millions of dollars came into Minnesota for broadband projects – helping providers to expand and upgrade broadband and helping organizations such as the Blandin Foundation to support broadband adoption. ARRA was a game changer.

For years I’ve heard people say  – ARRA was great but it’s not going to happen again. Then not that long ago I heard someone intimate that another ARRA might not be the strangest thing. That was before Trump won the election but that sets the stage for a recent article in Bloomberg indicating that big money will be going into infrastructure – just a matter of how…

Details of President-elect Trump’s plan are murky, but at an estimated $1 trillion over 10 years is twice as long and nearly four times as big as the five-year, $275 billion effort championed by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Candidate Trump’s response during Clinton’s August rollout of her initiative? “Double it.” …

Trump’s site calls for new investments to “create thousands of new jobs in construction, steel manufacturing, and other sectors to build the transportation, water, telecommunications and energy infrastructure needed to enable new economic development in the U.S., all of which will generate new tax revenues.” It’s this crossover appeal for infrastructure investment that makes it ideal as Trump seeks to build bridges in both a figurative and literal sense.

To be fair, the same article includes precautions in expecting too much predictability. And broadband is rarely listed at the top of the new Administration’s priorities but as I often said with the ARRA funding – luck favors the prepared. Here’s what Bloomberg said…

For municipalities with “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects, the thought of increased Federal funding for infrastructure projects is an exciting one. Studying project specifications, scopes of work and bid documents to benchmark proposals and pricing from other agencies who have already issued similar solicitations is a time-saving tactic that can help expedite getting the contracts out the door for public bidding.

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

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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