osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Broadband Stimulus Out

After 6 months, it's finally here.

Nothing so aptly summarizes federal grant making as the fact that you are required to include your Congressional district. that's not a requirement they made up here, that's standard. But it tells you how this stuff gets done.

There's a lot good, and some not so good. I am not terribly upset about the speeds (adopts FCC definition of broadband at 768 kbps). The quick version is:

1- Big threat to Bells & Cable cos = focus on middle mile and the Return of the Computer III interconnection. We going all Europe on your ass! Maybe we can finally catch up to them on broadband deployment after they stole our structural separation rules from us.

2- Big sop to the Bells &Cable cos = "managed services" exception. Part of this is being offended at use of terms "public Internet" & "private Internet." The Internet, back when it got a definite article and a capital I, is the "network of networks" using the TCP/IP protocl suite. They are ALL "private" Networks. the public/private distinction here is really a borrow from traditional telecom, but it's undefined and creates bad ambiguities the incumbents will ruthlessly exploit.

The bigger problem tho is that it allows the pipe built w/federal money to have carve outs of capacity. In theory, that is supposed to be for public safety and things needing high quality of service, like medical telemetry. In practice, this will mean cable privileging its own VOIP and telcos privileging their own IPTV.

3- The weighting criteria screw cities, and I'm annoyed that they divided the digital inclusion elements and the infrastructure elements into separate packages. This completely cuts against the stated goal of wanting multipurpose applications with significant community engagement. Plus side, they are using census block as the level of granularity.

Will need to blog this more intensively later. Bottom line is that this is a net positive, but is incremental rather than disruptive and I am worried about implementation. Certain aspects strong, but lots of opportunity for mischief.

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