A part of the Stimulus I can really get behind


One aspect of living in the country sucks. Broadband -- the lack of it -- to be specific.

It seems that Washington, DC is taking a page out of the 1930's Rural Utilities Services playbook and is putting some serious Benjamins toward getting rural broadband. We are talking $7.2 Billion worth. A wonderful turn of events brought the Mountain Area Information Network to my attention as they are operating the same sort of system that I would put in if we had the backing and, they are making all of the work they went through available for anyone to use for building their own network. MAIN's Local Network Cookbook is an excellent resource, outlining hardware options as well as what to expect to pay for the various components:

Local Network Cookbook:
A Recipe for Launching a Local Broadband Wireless Network

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $7.2 billion in stimulus funding for broadband deployment in unserved and underserved communities. This funding will be distributed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) over the next 12 months. NTIA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce; RUS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A summary of federal broadband stimulus funding can be found at: Baller Herbst Stimulus 2-19-09 (PDF)

Most of this federal broadband stimulus funding is earmarked for nonprofit organizations and government entities. Commercial providers must receive special permission from the director of NTIA. It is not yet clear whether RUS will adopt this funding approach. Grant application windows are expected in June, November, and May, 2010. These are approximate dates until an official request for proposal (RFP) is issued.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local nonprofit organizations -- especially community media centers -- to become Internet service providers and begin developing new revenue streams. It's also an historic opportunity for advocates of Internet Freedom. The proliferation of community-based, broadband networks would be a huge step toward creating the critical "third pipe" alternative to the cable/telco duopoly, thereby generating market pressure to force the major carriers to restore "net neutrality" protections for broadband users.

The broadband stimulus opportunity opens the door to a vision for a new Jeffersonian Internet comprised of a network-of-grassroots-networks where civil liberties and quality journalism are valued over Wall Street business models.

An excellent guide and resource. Our local Chamber of Commerce has been working with a spin-off group called the Community Development Authority and one of the key tasks of the CDA is to see how feasible broadband is for the East County. I just emailed the members a couple links to this and it will be interesting to see the reply emails tomorrow...

The other thing that MAIN is doing is that they use some of the profits from their broadband services and web hosting to fund a Low Power FM radio station serving the community. This is something that has been of interest to me as well -- I worked as a DJ while living in Boston and loved it. Not something you can do and hold down a real job though so I switched first to running a large multi-line BBS for ten years and now, I blog... The application window for LPFM stations is closed these days but if the FCC opens up again, I'll be there...


Hi Spork

Only problem is that we don't have cell service out here either. I use satellite and the service is spotty for $80/month.

The same local group (CDA) that is pushing for broadband is also pushing for cellular - we are close to the Mt. Baker ski resort and lots of times, a cell phone would have been crucial. The resort has satellite phone for emergencies but no cell.

If you haven't looked into it already, look at cellular for rural internet. That's the only thing (outside of dialup and satellite) that I can get... and I was surprised at how well it worked and how little latency there is. Most carriers give you 30 days to try it and give it back... and most have semi decent coverage maps to determine if you can get broadband.

October 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
Jennifer Marohasy
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
New Scientist
Next Big Future
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 17, 2009 8:45 PM.

Awww Cute - animal pictures was the previous entry in this blog.

OMFG - we are all gonna die - Antarctic Ice melting is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9