Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 2:15am
MIDCONTINENT OFFICIAL FAULTS RUS PROGRAM
[SOURCE: Multichannel News, AUTHOR: Ted Hearn]
The federal governmentâ€™s broadband-loan program should focus spending on areas that don't have high-speed-Internet access, a small-cable-company executive told a Senate Committee Wednesday. The program â€œis largely being used to subsidize competition in areas where one and, in many cases, multiple providers of broadband exist,â€ said Tom Simmons, vice president of public policy for Midcontinent Communications, in prepared testimony. Simmons argued that the loan programâ€™s failure to concentrate on unserved markets distorts competition and runs the risk that the federal government won't be repaid because loan recipientsâ€™ consumer penetration likely won't meet expectations. â€œSubsidizing competition is a waste of scarce resources that should be targeted to areas where a market-based solution has not developed,â€ he said. Midcontinent provides voice, video and data services to 200,000 subscribers in 200 communities scattered around three Great Plains states. Appearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee, Simmons called for changes to the U.S. Agriculture Departmentâ€™s Rural Development Broadband Loan program, created in 2002 under federal farm legislation.
- NCTA Beefs About USDA Broadband Loans
- Study questions federal spending on broadband
- How Do the Feds Fund Broadband?
- Cable and Satellite TV Set Their Sights on Airwaves
- Stevens: Rural Subsidies Key to New Law
- Legislation Seeks to Ease Rules on Domestic Spying
- More Rural Broadband Consolidation With Midco Buying US Cable Assets
- NCTA Chief Hails Senate Farm Bill
- NCTA Hails Farm Bill's RUS Loan Reforms
- Review of Rural Broadband Programs
- Canberra to amend Media Ownership Bill
- A Crack in the Stone Wall
- Digital Welfare: The Failure of the Universal Service System
- FCC Announces Major Expansion of Connect to Compete
- Goal Is Electronic Health Records. Path Is State by State.