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ACA: Small Operators Can Best Bridge Broadband Gap

The American Cable Association wants the FCC to give preference to small and mid-sized cable operators in coming up with a plan to get broadband service to rural areas, saying that is the best way to close the boadband gap.

That should come as no surprise since ACA represents these operators, which it suggests already have the "financial, managerial, operational, and technical experience running broadband networks" in rural areas.

The Federal Communications Commission is required by the 2008 farm bill to come up with a rural broadband rollout plan by May 22. That is not to be confused with the national broadband rollout plan Congress has asked it to come up with by next year, though the two are obviously related.

In comments filed at the FCC, ACA said its members were "uniquely situated to help achieve the goals of a rural broadband strategy."

The government has over $7 billion in broadband grants, loans and loan guarantees available through the economic stimulus package, which are be used to extend broadband to rural and urban unserved and underved areas.