By Larry Downes – There’s no doubt that the plan will make universal broadband access for all Americans a national priority. Universal access will be defined as affordable, high-speed Internet availability throughout the United States and will rely on a combination of fiber, cable, satellite, copper, and high-speed wireless. (I heard no mention of broadband over power lines.) Set-top box technologies that will make televisions act more like computers are also critical, particularly to lower-income Americans.
The big question is how to fund the investments needed to achieve this ambitious goal. The U.S. faces geographic, economic, and sociocultural challenges to universal adoption that smaller and more urban countries don’t. Neil Fried, minority counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, repeated a much-cited figure that making 100Mbps broadband available to every American home will cost an additional $350 billion in infrastructure upgrades. By comparison, the stimulus bill allocated only $7 billion for broadband projects. more> http://tinyurl.com/yd6jufa