Rural Broadband Association asks policymakers to invest in symmetrical broadband for the future

In a recent post from Shirley Bloomfield at the NTCA Rural Broadband Association, she asks policymakers and industry to think about investing in the future rather than short term fixes…

An infrastructure package is a chance to be bold and build something for a generation – not to fill potholes with patches.

I was particularly disappointed to read an industry posting recently that argued against the need for rural symmetrical fiber broadband and instead set a standard that is clearly aimed at little more than making sure fixed wireless can “play in the game” too. Does fixed wireless have a role to play in terms of closing the service gaps? Of course, but watching large national providers making this pitch so aggressively – and asking taxpayers to back their short-term network deployment plans – also clearly shows the intention of serving any of their remaining rural service territories with an inferior product instead of technology that will meet the needs of consumers not only today but well into the future. It’s all the more telling that some play loosely with discussions of broadband speeds, confusing what speeds will define unserved areas on the one hand with the very separate and distinct issue of what speeds will be required of new networks to be built in the areas that are currently unserved – those are two different questions, and conflating them does nothing other than cloud a meaningful debate over how to best address our infrastructure challenges.

This entry was posted in FTTH, 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.

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