More broadband stimulus program details were announced, and the good news is that applications for the first round of $4 billion will be accepted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service starting July 14. The less positive news is two-fold: Consumers might be discouraged that the government has set the minimum speeds threshold for grant-winning broadband network projects at just 768 kbps; and some service providers might be disappointed the grant-winning firms will have to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's Net neutrality rules.
Neither of those moves may be much of a surprise. The government had to tackle the unenviable task of deciding what speed level best defines broadband. The choice of 768 kbps will seem like the broadband Stone Age to many, though the ability of some technologies to reach remote and rural areas likely factored into the decision.
Applicants have until August 14 to apply for first-round funds.
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The Obama administration has said stimulus is just a start