This article indicates that some action and money may really support the new Broadband Task Force created by Governor Schwarzenegger a few weeks ago. $460 million dollars will be committed to improving high speed access throughout the state. Most of the money will be provides by bond passed for education but will be tageted to telemedicine. the article doesn’t explain how the two are related.
The $60 million dollars was raised from a stipulation in an agreement that allowed the merger of AT&T with SBC and Verizon with MCI. the companies had to pledge the money to an Emerging Technology Fund. As Andrew Cohill points out, lots of the people on the Broadband Task Force are industry insiders so it may be that lots of the moneyh will go right back to the industry that coughed it up in the first place. However, rural California has two non-inustry insiders on the Task Force in HSU President Rollin Richmond and the head of the Humboldt Area Foundation Peter Pennekamp. We’ll see how successful they will be looking after our interests.
The article indicates the Task Force is charged with coming up with at least a preliminary plan for expanding California’s high speed network within the next 90 days. Given that they haven’t even met yet, this could prove a daunting task.