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FCC's New Broadband Plan Prioritizes Competition 71

adeelarshad82 writes "The Federal Communications Commission has released an outline of what might be included in its upcoming national broadband plan, and encouraging competition was a top priority. The FCC statement said 'Competition drives innovation and provides consumer choice. Finding ways to better use existing assets, including Universal Service, rights-of-way, spectrum, and others, will be essential to the success of the plan. The limited government funding that is available for broadband would be best used when leveraged with the private sector.' The stimulus plan provided $7.2 billion in broadband grants and $350 million for a broadband mapping program, but also directed the FCC to deliver a national broadband plan to Congress by February 17, 2010."
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FCC's New Broadband Plan Prioritizes Competition

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  • Re:Right. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:08PM (#30468018)

    If we do this there had better be significant strings attached.

    To enforce this, we should only give the money out AFTER the conditions are met. They've been proven untrustworthy, so don't give them anything until they give us something first. Also, that way, anyone can do it, not a single company that gets the contract. Whoever satisfies the requirements first gets paid.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) * on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:15PM (#30468092) Homepage Journal

    "you are going to end up with only a few companies after the shakeout occurs. "

    Largely because the US has become conditioned to the idea that big companies are good. Globalization is a "good thing" and we want corporations large enough to compete on a global scale. "World class" is a benchmark we use to judge companies.

    My telco serves 4 counties, I think - maybe a 5th. No one has ever heard of it. But, they are successful, in that they attract investors, and they show a profit every year. Rates are mostly competitive with the big companies. Like the big companies, they have a monopoly in their service area. I've come to like them, because I can talk to real people. And, if I ever feel the need to talk eyeball to eyeball with a service rep, it's a short drive over to Lewisville from my house.

    You're right, of course, but it sucks, IMHO

  • by MikeURL ( 890801 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:19AM (#30469402) Journal
    This is a common misconception. If you look as the dollar and dollar-equivalents there are actually fewer in circulation now than there were in 2006. That is why the seemingly impossibly feat of running a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit can occur simultaneously with record low interest rates and nearly zero inflation.

    The fetishistic fixation on inflation amuses me a little. Granted that past performance does usually indicate future performance but some pretty unique shit happened in 2000 through 2006-7. The government hasn't expanded the effective money supply...they just kept it from crashing through the floor. In the absence of massive deficits and "helicopter Ben" we would be virtually guaranteed Great Depression part II.

    The problem isn't going to be inflation. The problem we're going to face is how much damage is being done to economic efficiency. A lot of entities that made bad decisions were supported out of necessity. In a Great Depression nearly every bank would have been swept away. Almost all the car companies would have gone under. "Real" Unemployment would probably have hit 30, 40, maybe even 50% given how much we depend on "services" now. That would have hurt. It would have hurt really badly but it also would have cleared the deck. There would be no Wall Street lobbyists left to push for favorable legislation--they would all be insolvent. Etc. Instead we have all the same people who fucked up still in the system trying to pick up where they left off.

    That is where the danger is--not inflation.
  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:10AM (#30473520) Homepage Journal

    Fair question, I suppose. I really can't answer that. I can tell you, Walnut Hill was here when my father in law's parents had their first telephone installed. Things were kinda wild back in those days - three miles from the Oklahoma border, the various tribes would have a few people go off the reservations, Arkinda was a booming border town with killings every other weekend, an occasional bank robbery, so on and so forth. The big companies provided telephone service to Texarkana, but couldn't see the point in buying all the wire necessary to put in lines to Foreman, Wallace, Arkinda, Winthrop, and other backwoods little holes in the wall, scattered along the rail lines.

    So, some relatively wealthy people got together, sold some bonds, and came up with the money necessary to start stringing wire, and buy a few switchboards.

    They haven't sold out YET!! And, from what I understand, AT&T and Ma Bell tried really, really hard to get this market several times.

    That situation reminds me of something - what could that be? Oh yeah - that infamous last freaking mile that the big telcos are so incapable of providing to rural America. Same deal. They won't invest in the country, they just want the tax breaks, the monopolies, and your money. I can't see people around here approving of a big telco buying away what they are used to.

Forty two.