Originally published: March 18, 2009
Last updated: March 18, 2009 - 8:47pm
[Commentary] One hot topic in discussions over how broadband stimulus dollars should be allocated is what private entities should qualify for a waiver on the restrictions that only public entities and public/private partnerships can get the money. But to be honest, I'm not sure why this is a difficult question to answer. First off, it's obvious that Congress wants us to prioritize public entities and public/private partnerships, otherwise they wouldn't have put the need for a waiver in. So to me that means that when applications come in those from public entities and public/private partnerships should go to the front of the line. So now we've narrowed the scope to only discussing whatever money is left over after all the qualified and viable public and public/private projects are funded. Assuming there are funds left over, then I think determining which private-only projects deserve funding could be done easily simply by saying that in order to qualify private-only projects must have the support of the communities in which they're going to build. The only thing to determine now is how to quantify that local support.
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