Archive of the Broadband Stimulus Category

Stimulus offers messy test of public/private telecom models

As broadband stimulus funds flow into public/private partnerships, they are sure to reveal cracks that still exist in our understanding of how to balance public and private interests in telecom successfully.

Tonight the city council in Provo, Utah will discuss whether to grant a request to reduce monthly payment obligations from Broadweave Networks, which acquired the city’s struggling fiber-to-the-home network last year.

Broadweave argued it could turn the fiber operations around by replacing its open, wholesale-only model with one in which it played both the role of service provider and network operator. It’s not clear yet that the strategy will be successful. Now Broadweave wants to merge with one of the service providers on the network, Veracity Communications, using the temporary break in payments to the city — $1.5 million over two years – to get the combined operation up to speed. And that plea for financial help is raising concerns. more

Clearwire seeks to augment 4G network with stimulus funds

Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) is hoping to add to its WiMax build plan this year with the help of some federal dollars. It revealed today it has applied for a “modest” but undisclosed amount of broadband stimulus fundsto deploy 4G networks in under-served areas in Detroit and Puerto Rico, two markets that currently are not part of Clearwire’s business plan. In addition, Clearwire is affiliating itself with a few other grant applications, agreeing to share spectrum or network assets in five states if the unnamed broadband providers secure funding. more

Charting the digital divide

I started playing with some of the broadband data released today by the Communication Workers of America to get a rough picture of the US digital divide: more

As carriers gird for FCC fight, an omen down under

As the new FCC Chairman focuses “relentlessly” on competition, he cannot have failed to notice the recent admission of Australian carrier Telstra that it has engaged in anti-competitive practices, denying rivals the legal right to interconnect by falsely claiming there was no room for new equipment in seven exchange facilities – an admission that came only after the departure of its former chief executive officer, Sol Trujillo.

Known for his adversarial relationship with unions and the government (which owned the company just four years ago and still owns a large part), Trujillo will be remembered by Australians as “the one who took on the government and lost,” one analyst said. As the former CEO of US West, Trujillo must have been shocked to learn that a Fortune 500 company can take on the government and lose. Now Australia is barreling ahead with an ambitious plan to build a $34-billion open nationwide network, dramatically changing Telstra’s tone and inspiring others around the globe. more

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