Broadband Deployment In Focus

Tomorrow is Broadband Forum IV at Fortuna’s River Lodge. Redwood Coast Connect should be presenting the results of their assessment of broadband deployment in the region and plans for increasing that to more rural areas. In advance of that the Eureka Reporter’s Ashley Bailey has published part 1 of a 2 part series on the issue. It will be interesting to see what RCC comes up with beyond what most in the rural areas alread know: Broadband is typically either not available or not reliable. So what solutions will RCC and others at Broadband Forum IV tell us? Hoopa’s Connie Davis, as quoted  in the article says, “I think it’s something you need to have in this day and age. We don’t need to do studies. We don’t need to talk about this. We just need to do it because we need it.” Part 2 of Ashely’s series will appear in the paper tomorrow.

In the meantime as USAToday reports, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is also concerned about boltering broadband deployment, particularly to rural areas. ” ‘More and more people expect and demand to have access to the Internet and new wireless technologies,’ Martin says. ‘It is important that the (FCC) try to find new ways to address’ those needs. The way Martin sees it, broadband is quickly becoming what copper phone lines were for decades: the main means of communication for millions of Americans.” Martin is proposing to use a portion of the wireless spectrum to help fill in the holes in rural areas. He would like to see use of the federally subsidized  universal service fund to help pay for this. He faces opposition from wireless carriers on use of the wireless spectrum and from rural phone companies on use of the universal service fund.