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The Economic Stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Contains Billions For Rural BroadbandViews: 883
Mar 04, 2009 7:14 pmThe Economic Stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Contains Billions For Rural Broadband#

Michael Lemm
This is from Broadband Nation and is rather long (my apologies) ... but since "someone" demands no links in posts you'll have to endure the length.

God Bless,
Michael Lemm
FreedomFire Communications
"Helping YOUR Business .... DO Business"
http://mscprez.ld.net
http://Broadband-Nation.blogspot.com

==========================


The Economic Stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Contains Billions For Rural Broadband ... Good Or Bad Idea?

This $787 billion “stimulus plan” includes education spending, new military construction, spending for transportation and water infrastructure, expanded Medicaid payments, and some tax rebates. Proponents of the bill claim it will create or save 3.5 million jobs. If accurate, that would translate to a cost of $229,000 per job created. By comparison, the median wage in the United States is $24,325.

Congressman Randy Forbes (VA) had this to say about the bill .... “Just last year, Americans lost $14 trillion in total wealth. The fundamental question we have to ask is this – are we simply going to redistribute what is left or are we going to embark on a plan to rebuild what we’ve lost? I believe, and the American people believe, that we have a responsibility to our country and to our future generations to rebuild what we’ve lost. Unfortunately, the economic stimulus package we voted on today is nothing more than a redistribution plan. Americans know the answer to our economic situation is to grow our economy, not to grow our government. Americans deserve a plan that invests in real and long-term economic growth. Americans deserve better than what Congress gave them today.”

More to the point .... the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains a targeted effort that fulfills an old dream of broadband boosters. It would offer substantial funding for high-speed Internet networks in corners of the country that still rely on dial-up connections or have only one broadband option.

The hope is that construction of these networks will create jobs, and that better access to broadband will spur all sorts of new economic activity. Yet not everyone agrees that broadband funding belongs in the stimulus plan.

Some critics of the idea wonder how many people will actually sign up for the new networks once they are built. Others question how many jobs broadband investments will really create. Even supporters debate whether Congress is going about funding broadband expansion the right way. The majority of those who don’t have broadband don’t really want it, according to research.

Now, I'm as about a fiscally conservative as they come, and there's much in the stimulus plan to hate... but IMHO this is actually a good idea.

It's an infrastructure enhancement that would actually do what stimulus is supposed to do. It will spur growth in the economy.

By bringing internet access to larger parts of the country, it will stir growth in telecommunications... reduce costs to consumers by bringing choices to the communications markets in their communities, while spurring growth in several sectors that have become interdependent upon the internet.

Retailers, who are increasingly branching (or moving) into the internet marketplace due to its inherent efficiency, will have a larger market in which to compete. Rural shoppers will have more choices as well, as all those e-tailers will be competing for their dollars, currently held hostage by the local general store.

Retail transportation costs will fall aside in favor of more efficient wholesale transportation, because shipping goods to a rural home is better for the environment than driving into town to buy things.

Educational industries, distance learning, and the primary/secondary educational benefits that are taken for granted by so many will be available to rural learners. from Highlights.com to University of Pheonix, new audiences will have new learning materials, and new opportunities.

Also, the explosion of small-cap and SOHO web-businesses will expand into these areas. Innovators and entrepreneurs live in the country, too, and not only do our country cousins want to buy stuff on the internet, they want to sell stuff, too.

Now what do YOU think?

Private Reply to Michael Lemm

Mar 05, 2009 1:21 pmre: The Economic Stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Contains Billions For Rural Broad#

Kurt Schweitzer
Michael,

To me the issue isn't links in a post, but rather YOUR opinion on why the article at the other end of the link (or included in the post, in this case) should be read.

What's YOUR take on "Billions For Rural Broadband"? Do you feel this is an inappropriate use of government money? Or do you see it as development necessary to bring the U.S. up to the degree of broadband coverage found in Europe or Japan?

I really couldn't care less what someone outside this group thinks - I'm more interested in discussions among the people here. If you're going to raise an issue, stake a position on it, or at least say something like "I'll weigh in with my position in a bit, but first I want to hear what the rest of you think".

As for the article, I think it sucks. It says "Billions For Rural Broadband" in the title, but the article itself says nothing about how much money is going to that purpose. Seven billion dollars would still translate to only 1% of the stimulus package - is that a fair allocation?

One nice thing about America is the high degree of mobility people have. If having broadband is important to you, you can move to where it's available. On the other hand, if rural solitude is important you can move there. Should taxpayer money be spent to run a miles-long cable to a single house, just so it can have a high-speed connection to the Internet?

In the Great Depression the Rural Electrification Act was passed to provide electricity to isolated homes at taxpayer expense. On the other hand there wasn't a "Rural Plumbing Act" to do the same thing for water or sewer services. I find that interesting, since having clean water and sanitary facilities is generally considered more important than having power for developing impoverished economies. Do we assume that rural America is impoverished?

"Retailers, who are increasingly branching (or moving) into the internet marketplace due to its inherent efficiency, will have a larger market in which to compete."

I take issue with this statement. I am a Retailer, and I have discovered that I am NOT in business to serve the world at large. My business exists to serve my LOCAL marketplace. By focusing on a local market I can deliver EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE, but if I were to try to compete on the Internet the best I could provide is adequate service. My business model would have to change greatly - to the point of selling different products and closing down an entire department - in order to provide exceptional service to Internet customers. And if I did that my chances of being successful would diminish greatly.

There. Now there's enough opinion in this thread for it to take off. Let the (possibly heated) discussion begin!

Kurt Schweitzer
Urban Village Scooters

Private Reply to Kurt Schweitzer

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