Originally published: January 27, 2011
Last updated: January 27, 2011 - 5:07pm
In response to rural telco complaints that the 4 Mb/s minimum broadband speed recommended in the National Broadband Plan is set too low, NBP crafter Blair Levin has challenged the telcos to answer three questions. What should the speed be? What will it cost? And who is going to pay for it?
The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) seems to have answered at least two of those questions in a report that it recently issued.
Fifteen percent of all NTCA member respondents estimated that they could bring all of their customers up to 25 Mb/s service for $1 million or less. An additional 30% could do so for between $1 and $10 million. Twenty six percent more said they could do so for between $10 and $20 million, and another 11% said their cost would be between $20 and $50 million. The final 19% estimated that the total cost would exceed $50 million. The report didn't discuss how those costs should be covered. That wasn't the goal of the report. Based on comments provided by respondents, however, it seems clear that the small telcos are hoping a broadband Universal Service program would operate in a similar fashion to how today’s voice-centric program works. Respondents were asked what obstacles they had encountered in their efforts to deploy fiber to their customers and how conditions would need to change to allow them to successfully overcome those obstacles. A typical response was “As long as we have some sort of USF regime and USDA funding we would continue to deploy.”
- The Broadband Plan and the Power of Data Driven Thinking
- American Cable Association Recommends 16 Mb/s Broadband Target for USF
- National Broadband Rebuttal: Are We in for All, Or Just Enough
- Stimulus winner Rural Telephone targets 100 Mb/s to the home
- Levin's Engagement Raises Stake for National Broadband Policy
- Rural Telcos Go Toe-to-Toe With DC
- Levin: Competition, Local Leadership Needed to Secure America’s Broadband Future
- AT&T, Verizon and other price cap carriers send broadband USF proposal to FCC
- Don't be distracted by red herrings in National Broadband Plan
- A Framework for Universal Broadband
- What Is Your TV Spectrum Really Worth?
- Levin Seeks More Clarification From NAB
- Rural Telcos Pursue Low-Income Broadband Pilot Test
- Blair Levin Cautions About Incumbent Right of First Refusal in Telco USF Plan
- Definition of 'broadband' still a secret in FCC plan