The $825 billion proposal from the Obama transition team and House Democrats includes $6 billion to improve the U.S. broadband infrastructure, which is lacking in many rural and mountainous areas, particularly the West.
There aren’t a lot of details yet on how that $6 billion would be given out, but it doesn’t seem to encompass the tax breaks phone and cable companies were lobbying for. Even so, the wireless industry was cheering Thursday morning because a summary of the spending released by House Democrats calls for the money to be used on “broadband and wireless grants.”
Wireless companies were concerned that the money would be earmarked for cable and phone companies providing fiber to the home.
On Wednesday, an Obama adviser who’s been in charge of the broadband stimulus package indicated that industry and tech expectations about the broadband part of the package had gotten a bit out of control.
“The broadband piece of the Obama agenda is not going to be done solely in the economic recovery package,” said Blair Levin, a telecom analyst and former FCC chief of staff who’s been advising the campaign on how to structure its broadband plan. He was speaking at a tech conference on Capitol Hill.
Read the full article in Wall Street Journal here.