Qwest reconsiders broadband stimulus

A change in rules over how the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will dole out the second round of broadband stimulus funding is driving Denver-based RBOC Qwest to consider applying for a grant this time around.

This is a shift for Qwest, who along with its RBOC brethren AT&T and Verizon and cable MSO Comcast, declined to go after the first round of broadband stimulus funding because they thought the rules were too complex.  

One of the big issues for Qwest was a rule that would not permit projects to be built within 60 miles of a city or town--even if those areas lacked broadband--making it economically unfeasible to apply for the funding.  

Stopping short at saying it's definitely going to apply, Qwest said it's now motivated to conduct economic analysis on whether some broadband network expansions could make more sense under the realigned rules. "The good news is that they seem to have heard us in Washington, D.C.," said Chuck Ward, Qwest's Colorado president in a statement. "It almost gets us able to apply."

For more:
- see this Denver Business Journal article
- TMC also has this article

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