Monday, February 22, 2010

Ties that Bind: RUS, NTIA and Congress

An interesting observation from a colleague earlier last week (before the most recent announcements.)

16 of the states that had members on the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet received 22
awards. Analysis of the equivalent House committee couldn't be done at this stage due to limited information on the website.

John Kerry, MA: BTOP, Sustainable Broadband Adoption AND BTOP PCC
Daniel Inouye, HI: BIP, Last Mile Remote Area
Byron Dorgan, ND: BIP, Last Mile Non-Remote Area AND BIP Last Mile
Non-Remote Area
Maria Cantell, WA: BTOP, PCC AND BTOP, Sustainable Broadband Adoption
Claire McCaskill, MO: MIP, Last Mile Non-Remote Area
Amy Klobucharm, MN: BTOP, PCC
Tom Udell, NM: BTOP, Sustainable Broadband Adoption
Mark Warner, VA: 2 from press release AND BIP Last Mile Non-Remote Area
Mark Begich, AK: BIP, Middle Mile AND BIP, Last Mile Remote Area
Olympia Snowe, ME: BIP, Middle Mile
Jim DeMint, SC: (one wasn't on the list, but in an NTIA press release re:
PCC award)
John Thune, SD: BIP, Middle Mile
Johnny Isakson, GA: BTOP, Middle Mile
David Vitter, LA: BIP, Last Mile Non-Remote Area
Sam Brownback, KS: BIP, Last Mile Non-Remote Area
Mike Johanns, NE: BIP, Last Mile Remote Area (CO also part of grant)

Frank Lautenberg, NJ:
Mark Pryor, AR:
Roger Wicker, MS:
John Ensign, NV:
Bill Nelson, FL:
George LeMieux, FL:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NTIA Broadband Mapping Bubble Chart

Sara Wedeman and I are working on a number of visualizations for the ARRA broadband awards. Here is a sample of the Broadband Mapping and Planning awards. Let me know what you think via a comment or via twitter. You'll need a Java plugin in your browser to use the interactive function.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Go Big. Go Gig. Kudos to Google and One Community

It has been a banner month for Big Broadband.

First, OneCommunity announced its gigabit broadband rollout to the 25000 homes and now Google has announced a pilot project for one or a set of gigabit regional networks in the US.

This is an historic moment.

Ever since a number of us started "thinking Gig" in the early 2000s (after some nagging from the White House's Tom Kalil), it has been a uphill battle to capture the imagination of politicians, businesses and consumers. While we see other countries racing past the US to offer gigabit broadband for US$50 monthly, the US politicians and corporations continue to focus their work on 1990s broadband capabilities.

Mark Ansboury from the Knight Center for Technical Excellence operated by OneCommunity has wisely said, "To quote the “Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, you should “go to where the puck’s going, not where it is.”" Both projects create the opportunity to change the conversation: to explore where our country should head and to prove that the deterrents to deploying affordable one gigabit broadband to every home, school and business are not technical, but political and administrative.

FirstMile.US congratulates OneCommunity and Google for their vision. With any luck and some really hard work, FirstMile.US's vision of Big Broadband Everywhere can happen in the US.

OneCommunity in Ohio is expanding its community-centered broadband activities in a powerful way through the enthusiastic cooperation of many diverse organizations. They have spent many years overcoming the typical corporate and political objections that stop big broadband deployment.

Google's actions create the opportunity to get people to recognize that big broadband is what we should aspire to, NOW. Their goal to create open communications infrastructure in a local environment with strong local leadership and support is exactly the prescription for a big broadband everywhere in the US, the exact mix that OneCommunity has perfected over the years.

All of us should stop and rethink our definition of big broadband and embrace "Go Big. Go Gig."

Yes, we can!