Comments on: The case for a broadband bailout Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Brian Bigelow Wed, 18 Feb 2009 06:41:46 +0000 First off, I work for an ISP (Comcast). My thoughts are that the government investing in a larger broadband network will pay off in the future. Increased communications ability always increases commerce and income for all of society.

By: Pablo Tue, 17 Feb 2009 18:43:23 +0000 Bailout for broadband, promising opportunities of business is missing one problem. Current crisis involves people spending less, because they are losing jobs. Unemployed people are no longer customers for many companies as they lack buying power.

So this author seems to defend bailout of supply, when demand is being reduced. Wouldn’t it be better to bailout people, by giving them a job in the government, so they start consuming and become customers again?

How would you pay for such jobs? Nationalize banks, and the profit of banks would add the extra income government desperately needs to pay for stimulus plan.

Otherwise, stimulus should be paid with either higher taxes or debt.

Higher taxes by people who are less capable of paying would eventually lead to less government revenue and higher unrest.

If government comes for debt in dollars, devaluating pound to promote exports would also revaluate debt. And if pound goes up, UK will have to rely on internal market and exports will be dead.

By: Dennis D. Sun, 15 Feb 2009 14:32:23 +0000 I live in southwestern Missouri, in a rural area bordering a metroplitan area. DSL is within 3/4 of a mile of my home; cable internet is available for a stout sum of $55 a month by itself. So I have dialup internet service, which is increasingly insufficient. I would like to take distance learning courses to upgrade my skills, but dialup service isn’t typically compatible. Viewing video via the internet is simply not possible with dialup, and most internet radio stations are not listenable.

I see broadband as fundamentally being a consumer issue that has been shamefully politicized. I’ve paid my phone utility bills for years, and apparently that has helped to furnish fiber optic cabling and high-speed services to folks other than myself. I feel privelaged just to have a landline with Caller I.D.

In addition to simply having access to broadband, it needs to be affordable: the cost for cable internet or satellite internet is more than what I sometimes pay for electricity to my all-electric home. In my opinion, I think the phone companies will have to be compelled by the US government to expand their broadband availabilities to rural areas, not unlike the rural electrification initiatives of the mid-20th Century.

By: Student of Recent History Sat, 14 Feb 2009 19:37:06 +0000 In Thomas Friedman’s book, “The World is Flat,” he did a good job of explaining the second order effect of web technology, ubiquitous PCs, and a global fiber optic network on globalization and trade. While some would argue that globalization has hurt some, it has also created wealth for many people. I think we need to have some faith in expanding broadband access to the internet and digital information/entertainment, and know that if “we build it, they will come.” Meaning, put the fiber optic/Wi Fi/boadband networks in place and the jobs will come, probably in ways that we cannot foresee today.

By: Keith Fri, 13 Feb 2009 17:18:07 +0000 I also agree, but with caution. Steer this funding towards the WiMax wireless broadband initiative championed by Intel/Clearwire/Google. This will provide jobs and for consumers provide a level playing field versus the presently entrenched big-two wireless incumbents.

By: Not Silent Not Bob Fri, 13 Feb 2009 14:43:43 +0000 I respectfully disagree with those who urge ‘caution’ and ‘prudence’ in these circumstances. It is vitally important that massive sums be spent, as quickly as possible, on infrastructure and other worthwhile projects, not to avoid or end the horrific downdraft we are experiencing at world scale, but to mitigate some of its most vicious effects as the write-downs thus far avoided are inevitably incurred.
The extension of broadband is to state the obvious roughly analogous to the extension of telephone service to remote and rural areas in the 1930s. It is not cost effective at the scale of the individual installation, but the overall extension of the system to near universality makes the investment ultimately sensible.
Many other areas that are also ‘uneconomic’ by some analyses such as high-speed rail, ought also be vigorously pursued. The need for spending on the real economy is enormous and competition between needs is in fact minimal in my judgement.
The resulting debt burden and inflationary pressures from the sum total of stimulative expenditures is problematic, granted, but those costs were incurred when this debacle was constructed over many years by many parties at a global level — it’s simply that that bill is now coming due. Better these investments than the ‘investments’ made in marble countertops and the like in homes that were the ‘one safe investment that could never depreciate’. Now “there* was an area for prudence — but it’s rather late now.
It ought be done as efficiently as practical, but let’s not let the perfect or the near-perfect be the enemy of the possible. Time to act, not to hesitate.

By: Cortland Richmond Fri, 13 Feb 2009 14:13:46 +0000 There is still some question whether Americans want broadband enough to pay taxes so someone else can have it. Rural broadband, because it serves relatively few customers, can’t be profitable unless it costs little to operate and maintain, even if deployment may be subsidized, and urban broadband is available from multiple vendors already.

Caution is the prudent course. One of the technolgies touted in the past — Broadband over Power Lines — has had relatively poor acceptance in field trials, poses radio interference problems that have resulted in complaints in the US to the FCC (and in the UK to OFCOM)and even had the FCC sued for iregularities in its deployment Rulemaking. Enthusiasm must be tempered by sober engineering and financial planning.

By: Armand Bogaarts Fri, 13 Feb 2009 13:30:39 +0000 As founder and former Chairman and CEO of Eurofiber (Fibercorp), I must agree but with caution. We spent fortunes building backbones just 9 years ago. The economic model and usefulness of FTTH (fiber to the home)is not clear.
If you argue for a modern ‘New Deal’, think about the energy infrastructure of the future. Integrating electric car batteries into the grid will be a major challenge, investment and pays itself off rapidly by reducing dependence on oil imports. If government has to invest to get the economy going, make sure the return on investment is great. In energy it will be huge.