Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thinking Aloud

Are you shovel ready? Isn't everyone? Everyone I talk to sure thinks they are. I, alone, have about 12 shovels in my garage. (don't ask, they seem to multiply in weird ways I haven't begun to understand.)

Who should be the recipient of the newfound broadband largess in the US? With over $6B in the probable queue for distribution to the underserved, everybody and their brother seems to believe that their projects are worthy of funding.

The folks who really really deserve to benefit from this funding -- those in isolated or expensive-to-serve areas -- are not the ones who have high paid lobbyists scouring the influential in Washington, D.C. These folks may have some mom-and-pop-style Internet provider who could really benefit the local community.

Let's make sure the funds have the possibility to be awarded to the truly underserved. In my mind, it will be vitally important for those applying for the grants to PROVE, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they intend to really serve the underserved by providing factual data showing a) why the communities proposed are underserved and b) that the communities proposed to be served want their services.

Let's make sure that this doesn't end up as a "scrap heap of embarrassing government boondoggles." See an invigorating take on the stimulus at the Washington Post

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