Former FCC acting chair Mignon Clyburn has been enlisted by INCOMPAS to promote the Biden Administration's vision of a broadband infrastructure buildout that could spend billions of dollars overbuilding existing service that does not meet speed and price goals.
INCOMPAS, which represents competitive carriers, has launched its BroadLand effort, which focuses on putting money into new, fiber, networks, rather than "wasting money on old and slow."
The Biden infrastructure plan proposal included $100 billion for broadband deployment tied to speed and competition and putting a thumb on the scale for municipal broadband and co-ops. And while a compromise infrastructure bill is likely to emerge from that initial proposal, it is also likely still to include billions for broadband.
Cable broadband operators have pushed back hard on suggestions that their networks, and the billions they have spent upgrading them, can't handle the future, pointing to their resiliency during the pandemic-driven reliance on remote everything.
But the BroadLand campaign, which could be christened "build backbone better," is focused squarely on fiber, and on including the price speed and competitive landscape of broadband when deciding whether government broadband infrastructure buildout money should be spent.
Cable broadband operators say the money should be focused where there is no service, not overbuilding, including muni broadband, where broadband is available, just not at the government's price point or speed.
“In a nation that stands for liberty and justice for all, we must have internet for all,” said Clyburn. “I am excited to join the BroadLand effort and continue my fight for greater broadband access and competition that has proven to lift all boats. Better broadband means faster speeds, lower prices and more ideas and innovation from more people and places.”
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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