Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is touting a $25 million state bill to fund broadband access availability to more than 30 towns in his state that he says have no broadband access options.
This effort comes at a time when we are seeing states wanting and trying to become more active in getting broadband coverage for rural or low-income areas, or other markets that for whatever reason have been deemed undesirable by the major broadband service providers. Connect Kentucky is another example of this action, though it has been hounded a bit by controversy. The states are fed up, and while the Federal Communications Commission debates about the methods for counting up broadband customers, the markets most lacking coverage continue to go without it.
Alan Creighton, president and CEO of Momentum Telecom, a service provider based in Birmingham, Ala., has seen the broadband shortage up-close, and he told me recently: "The FCC is taking a broad swipe at broadband reform. They don't know or understand what is happening in the Tier 3 markets, and what's happening may be uniquely different from state to state. This is something that should be addressed at the state level, where states are in control of their own destinies and have the authority to set rates and policies for these small markets."